The original purpose of narcotics and other addictive substances were as analgesics or anesthetics; they were supposed to temporarily relieve or numb pain in a specific area. However, nowadays these substances have gained notoriety for being consumed not for this particular purpose and in high doses. As a result, these substances can produce many unwanted and even harmful effects. The side effects of narcotics and addictive substances shows how dangerous these substances are outside of their intended use.
Physical effects. Narcotics and addictive substances affect the body in different ways depending on the substance. Since they are analgesics, narcotics can cause decreased sensitivity to pain when overdosed. Substances like marijuana and ecstasy can increase hunger, making someone under their influence more likely to chew and eat. Ecstasy also increases the heart rate, while sedatives, hallucinogens, and narcotics slow it down. Overall, these substances also intoxicate and eventually cause harm with the poison-like chemicals they contain.
Mental effects. The side effects that narcotics and addictive substances have on the body also affect the mind. Narcotics and ecstasy in particular effect an excessive sense of joy (euphoria). Hallucinogens and chemicals found in glue have the opposite effect of confusion or paranoia; true to its name, hallucinogens can also cause hallucinations, as so do marijuana. Many of the substances in general cause the mind not to be able to control the body or its motion, and affects coordination and concentration.
Other effects. One research has shown that the pollution caused by these substances that are smoked can have the same effect as second-hand smoke; it means that other people may be affected by someone using these substances. The substances have high addictive potential, so someone may be able to continue taking more of the substances. But the most serious is that consuming these substances is the pretext to other bodily ailments like brain damage, disability, even HIV/AIDS.
The dangers that the side effects of narcotics and other addictive substances have is evident. All of them can seriously affect the mind and body. Even the side effects can go beyond what is detected. Clearly, these are not the original purposes of these substances.