If you’ve never taken an illegal drug, what does it feel like? What do you experience when you have a drug high. And what’s it like when the high wears off?
It’s worth remembering that while you might not have tried an illegal drug before, it’s extremely likely that you’ve taken drugs. Over the counter medicines, such as aspirin and paracetamol, for instance, prescription medicines, such as fentanyl and codeine, and drugs such as morphine if you’ve had an operation.
You may also use more socially accepted, legal, recreational drugs such as tobacco, caffeine and, of course, alcohol. Around 7% of Australians over 12 have consumed 11 or more standard drinks on a single occasion in the past year – certainly enough to get them drunk – and if you’re one of them you’ll at least have a reasonable understanding of what it feels like to be high on drugs.
It’s worth pointing out that sometimes the only major difference between an illegal drug and a legal drug is that the legal drug has been manufactured to an exacting standard and is a known quality and quantity. The active ingredient can be the same – for example the illegal drug heroin is an opioid, as is morphine and fentanyl – but the legal drug is far less likely to cause issues when taken as directed, while an illegal drug can cause unexpected symptoms, overdoses and even death.
The other thing to remember is that a drug high can depend on the drug you’ve taken and can vary from individual to individual. Here’s a summary of the common illegal drugs and the feelings you may experience:
- If you take cannabis, you may feel euphoric, relaxed, creative, hungry, funny and more sensitive (to light, touch, etc.). However, you may also have unpleasant feelings, such as anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, nausea, a fast heartbeat and psychosis.
- If you take methamphetamines you may feel happy, confident, alert and have increased energy. However, you may also itch, grind your teeth, sweat, breathe faster and have a faster heartbeat.
- The effects of cocaine are somewhat similar to methamphetamines. Happiness, confidence, energy, alertness can all increase. However, like methamphetamines, you may also experience negative effects. These may include a dry mouth, high blood pressure, faster heartbeat and breathing, and unpredictable and sometimes violent behavior.
- If you take heroin you may feel intense pleasure and pain relief, as well as feel relaxed and drowsy. However, you may also feel confused, talk slow or with a slur, have a slower heartbeat and breathing, feel itchy and have trouble concentrating.
Like the drug high, coming down feelings will differ from drug to drug and from person to person. Generally, like coming down from alcohol, the feelings are never pleasant. Common symptoms are irritability, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, confusion, depression nausea, difficulty sleeping, headaches, dizziness and blurred vision.
What’s it like to feel high on drugs? Credit MattysFlicks https://www.flickr.com/photos/68397968@N07/14368966515/