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A Guide to Drugs
Any substance that creates a physiological change in the body is considered a drug. The three main categories of drugs are stimulants (speed up the brain and nervous system), depressants (slow them down) and hallucinogens (interfere with the brain and nervous system, altering perception of reality). Though synthetic (man made) and recreational drugs have the worst reputation, naturally derived drugs and those which may have medicinal application can also have negative side effects, be prone to abuse, be potentially addictive and lead to fatal overdoses.
Addiction can be physical, as in the case of heroin where withdrawing from use results in distinct physiological side effects. Addiction can also be psychological, marijuana is a well-known example, where the focus of withdrawal is less physiological. Both forms of addiction are very difficult to control and the impact on family and friends is devastating, not to mention problematic to society. There are however various drug addiction treatments available for users as well as support and information for others affected. So to help a person who is addicted to drugs, being informed and knowing what resources are available to you is a great place to start.