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Stimulants stimulate the central nervous system, increasing alertness and physical activity. Stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, pseudoephidrine, methylphenidates, betel nut, amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy.


Depressants depress the central nervous system. In a normal dose, they can lead to euphoria, relaxation, reduced coordination, disinhibition and lack of concentration. Larger doses may lead to nausea, unconsciousness and even death. Depressants include alcohol, cannabis, barbituates, benzodiazepines, opioids, some antihistamines, muscle relaxants, sedatives, some anticonvulsives, some antipsychotics, and alpha and beta blockers.

Combining different depressant medications is particularly dangerous

Mixing Benzodiazepines (prescription medications often used for sleep or anxiety), opioids (e.g., heroin, morphine, codeine, pethidine, oxycontin), and/or alcohol has been responsible for many deaths.


Inhalants are a range of chemical products that are inhaled to produce a high feeling. Many of these have a depressant effect and can be obtained from a variety of household products such as glue, aerosols and petrol.

The long-term use of inhalants can cause brain damage and damage to the central nervous system as well as hearing loss, bone marrow, liver and kidney damage and depletion of blood-oxygen levels.


Hallucinogens affect a person’s perceptions, sensations, thinking and emotions. Examples include LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. Psilocybin is found in certain mushrooms that are known as “magic mushrooms” or “golden tops”.