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The effects of drugs on the body and mind

With the recent spike in tragic drug related stories, particularly amongst young people, the need to educate and raise awareness of the consequences of drugs has never been greater. With this in mind, Priory is introducing an interactive infographic to demonstrate just what long and short-term damage can be done to a person's physical and mental wellbeing when they take drugs.

The infographic includes a range of different drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. By selecting a drug on the dial, the user will be told of the effects of this drug on their body, with relevant organs or areas on the diagram highlighted.

The repercussions of recreational drug use are becoming increasingly evident. Priory Hospital Roehampton Lead Addictions Consultant, Dr Niall Campbell, states:

"I see an increasing number of patients, often only 18, who are not only addicted to street drugs but have developed significant depressive and anxiety disorders. Distressing panic attacks from stimulants and hallucinogens - synthetic or mushroom-based - are on the increase.

"I have also noticed an alarming number of cocaine-induced, severe paranoid states requiring admission to hospital. Unfortunately, as I say to patients, this paranoia may not be controlled by antipsychotic medication and may become a permanent state.

"Research from the Maudsley Hospital suggests that over 25% of chronic paranoid psychoses, i.e. those which don't go away when drug use stops, are marijuana-induced. Marijuana is continually being redeveloped to be stronger, and hence more dangerous. So the problem is worsening.

"Street drug users will almost always know someone in their peer group who has developed a significant mental health problem. This can be a timely warning to them."

It is hoped that this infographic will help trigger emotional and rational responses to the very real and life-changing consequences that these drugs can have on a person, and encourage existing users to talk about their struggles with those that can help.

To view the interactive infographic, please click here.

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