Psychoactive drugs are drugs that interfere with the proper functioning of the brain leading to unusual behavior, mood swings and unstable state of consciousness. They are classified into three main categories. These are psychedelics, stimulants and depressants (Cherry 1). Drugs that belong to the depressants category like alcohol are among the commonest and are therefore used widely throughout the globe.
They are known for their characteristic inhibition of the Central Nervous System. Other drugs in this category include benzodiazepines and barbiturates. This paper concentrates on alcohol as a psychoactive drug and also discusses the physiological effects it has on the human body together with the coping strategies that can be used to end its addiction.
After taking alcohol, it is not digested but it goes into the blood stream. Here it mixes with water and it is carried by this bodily water into the major organs which normally have large volumes of water. These organs include the brain, the heart, the liver etc. After reaching the major organs, it is carried to the rest of the body.
These organs, particularly the brain, are normally highly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and thus extended drinking periods are most likely to lead to diseases of major organs. A person becomes intoxicated with alcohol when alcohol reaches the CNS (Central Nervous System) and makes sensory and emotional functions of the CNS to weaken (Dunlap 1).
This results in the dulling of sight, smell, taste and other senses which is a technical description of the drunken stupor. As mentioned above, drinking of alcohol may lead to acquisition of diseases to major organs. This usually occurs if the person is addicted to the alcohol or he/she has taken alcohol for a long time.
Addiction to alcohol occurs due to dependency on alcohol which is caused by physiological changes in the body of the addict. Some of these changes include decreased excitation of the body, affected neurotransmitters, an affected brain, an increase of the dopamine “rush” that makes a person thirst for alcohol (Dunlap 1).
Alcohol addicts are normally advised to know their cause of addiction to alcohol in order to fight the addiction in the most appropriate way (King 1). For Instance, genetically inherited addiction can be fought by avoiding alcohol. On the other hand, addiction to alcohol brought about by hypoglycemia can be stopped by avoiding sugary things.
In general however, alcohol addiction can be controlled and stopped if the patient maintains psychological stability and strength (King 1). With an undeterred determination to succeed in breaking an addiction to alcohol, the patient will be able to stop the addiction and the body metabolism will slowly adapt.
Alcoholism is one of the most dangerous habits that people acquire. As stated earlier, extended drinking periods lead to addiction to alcohol which ultimately leads to diseases to major organs. These diseases are normally terminal and they may take very long before they kill their victim.
The victim will therefore live in pain until his death. It is therefore advisable that people avoid engaging themselves in drinking habits since the complex physiological processes that take place when one takes alcohol may lead to addiction. If a person is already addicted to alcohol, he/she should evaluate his/her eating habits and past in order to find a practical way to break the habit.
Cherry, Kendra. “Psychoactive Drugs.” June 10, 2010,
Dunlap, Michaele. “Biological Impacts of Alcohol Use.” June 10, 2010,
King, C. “Body physiology behind Addiction.” 2008- June 10, 2010,