Drug Effects on the Nervous System


It is the current world trend to use drugs. Teenagers mainly abuse these drugs and unfortunately, they have drastic impacts on the life of these young ones. Worst of all, these drugs affect the nervous system which is the main mechanism where human thinking in the world. The essay that follows is a review of some of these drugs and the impact they have on the nervous system. It would be an advisable approach that drug education be implemented to avoid the loss of youths through drug addiction and the impact it has on them. The essay will give a detailed account of drugs such as cocaine and give the impact these drugs have on the nervous system.

The central nervous system

It is the role of the central nervous system to control all the activities of the tissues in the body. Due to the active nature of the human body, the peripheral nervous system receives numerous numbers of sensory inputs that are then transmitted to the brain by way of the spinal cord that houses the neurons. When these series of sensory inputs are received in the brain, the brain then internalizes the information for the user message and then discards the less important rest. More often than not, the percentage of information that is usually discarded is 99%. There are specific regions of the nervous system that then transmit this information to specific tissues or organs in the body so that the relevant response can be affected.


Scientists have however discovered a method through which a person can be able to perceive a difference in changes in awareness, discernment, opinion, and way of thinking or behaviors. Researchers, clinicians, and hypnotists use this process called hypnosis. Apart from hypnosis, drugs are also used to alter the way human beings think and respond to certain stimuli. There are various reasons why people use drugs some of them being:

  • to gain pleasure.
  • To achieve a certain level of joy
  • Others use drugs to reach certain social expectations
  • Peer pressure
  • Others use it as an escape route for duress, nervousness, and apprehension
  • Others use drugs to escape the pain
  • Drugs are also used to achieve a distorted state of perception

Psychoactive drugs

There are certain types of drugs known as psychoactive drugs, which usually influence the nervous system. These drugs usually modify consciousness and influence the way people perceive things and they can modify the frame of mind, emotions in addition to thoughts.

Addiction and tolerance caused by drugs

Due to the continued or repeated use of drugs, two situations are likely to occur. One of them is addiction, which occurs after a person has repeatedly used a certain drug such that they develop a certain compulsion to get hold of the drug. This comes after a continued period of drug abuse. This is usually a fatal condition because a person finds it hard to stop abusing the drug. If the person ceases using the drug, they are overcome by a certain desire to continue using the drug, and this results in a relapse. Another situation that occurs due to drug abuse is tolerance. In this situation, abuse of the drug forces the person to take large doses of the drug so that it can be effective. Dependency on drugs can also occur in a situation whereby a person has to take drugs to reduce pain. There are withdrawal symptoms after the use of certain medications, which are caused by physical, or psychological pain after a person has used the drug.

Effects of drugs on the nervous system

Drugs affect the nervous system by affecting neurotransmitters, which are chemical keys that have the capability of closing or opening chemical locks that either excite or hamper adjacent neurons, organs, and muscles. Drugs tend to affect the pleasure system of the nervous system. The areas affected include the nucleus accumbens together with the ventral tegmental area, which involves dopamine. Certain stimulants affect the central nervous system. These include cocaine, which is a drug from cocoa leaves. It is sniffed, when it is concentrated, it is referred to as crack. Cocaine usually obstructs the reuptake of dopamine or it might also stimulate the dopamine receptors to generate pleasure. Another effect is that it might glutamate and causes the body to crave more cocaine. The impact brought about by intake of cocaine in small doses includes arousal, awareness, and large bursts of energy. Heavy intake might result in grave physical and psychological complications such as hallucinations and addiction.


Another stimulant that affects the central nervous system is Amphetamines. This is a drug, which may be Methamphetamine (D-methamphetamine). This drug can be smoked or snorted and it has the effect of either blocking the reuptake of dopamine or enhance the release of dopamine in large quantities. The impact of this drug is that it might cause the user to be restless and have euphoria but after some time, the euphoria is substituted by melancholy, lack of sleep, and finally factual paranoid feelings.

Opium, morphine, and heroin

Other drugs such as opium, morphine, and heroin can also affect the nervous system. These drugs cause a reduction in the number of endorphins produced by the brain. An overdose of these drugs might result in dejected neural control in the case of breathing and might result in death from respiratory breakdown.

Other drugs

Other drugs that affect the nervous system include alcohol, which among other effects impairs the anterior cingulate cortex that functions as a control for monitor neurons. Marijuana is another drug that may temporarily reduce the immune system and lead to respiratory complications such as asthma.


In conclusion, all sorts of drugs have negative impacts on the nervous system of those who use them. Two types of situations arise from continued drug use, such as dependency, addiction, and tolerance. All these results to increased use of drugs that later alters the nervous system and finally how the body operates.

Works Cited

Plotnik, Rod and Kouyoumdjian, Haig. Introduction to psychology. Hampshire, United Kingdom: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2007.

Find out the price of your paper