Addiction is a disease, and those who suffer from this deadly disease use a variety of different substances. People generally separate these into drugs and alcohol, which we’ve already discussed and which is the most common and accessible drug. What follows is information on different drug types that can help identify what substance may be in use. In addition to the long-term effects listed below, each of these drugs is addictive and an addict will show signs of use and possible dependence on the substance. These include major life changes, such as job loss and a shift in social circles, rearranging one’s life to gain more frequent access to the substance(s), and a diminished interest in hygiene and appearance. If you believe a loved one is addicted to or abusing any of the following substances, The Right Step strongly urges you to seek help, support, and guidance. You did not cause the addiction, you cannot cure the addiction and you cannot control the addiction. If you choose to contact us, we can help begin the healing process for you and your loved one. Addiction affects the one who is using and those around him or her. Click here for part one of this article. LSD Class: Hallucinogen The effects of LSD use are infamous: dilated pupils; increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and flashbacks—even after use of the drug has ceased. It is difficult to identify a person on LSD because the effects of the drugs depend so heavily on the user’s situation at the time it was taken. There are documented cases in which its use has resulted in panic attacks and psychosis. The terrifying thing about LSD is that its long-term effects can mimic the short-term, such as persistent hallucinations and psychosis. Marijuana Class: Hallucinogen One of the most popular drugs in the world, marijuana’s proponents claim that it is harmless. However, with the plant bred to be more intense and, occasionally cut with dangerous materials, this is simply not true. A person under the effects of marijuana will have an increased heart rate and may have red eyes as their blood vessels expand. Some users experience euphoria, while others feel panicked or anxious. In the long-term, smoking marijuana causes many of the same respiratory problems as smoking tobacco. Studies vary on the drug’s long-term effects, but some have linked marijuana use with testicular cancer and increased risk of psychotic disorder. Opiates Class: Depressant The opiate family of drugs includes illicit substances like heroin and prescription medications like codeine. While on the drug, a user may have constricted pupils, delayed reactions, and an overall sluggish attitude. They will have difficulty concentrating. A long-term user is likely to show needle tracks and collapsed veins, and will suffer frequent infections and skin problems. Other risks include heart and liver problems due to a weakened immune system. Phencyclidine (PCP) Class: Hallucinogen Many doctors consider PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. A PCP user will display characteristics of numbness and lack of coordination while on the drug, as well as rapid and involuntary eye movements and auditory hallucinations. Its long-term effects include memory loss, cognitive impairment, significant weight loss, and depression. Remember that helping someone overcome addiction is a gift born of compassion. For more information on admission to Right Step’s drug treatment centers, please click here.