Drugs and Effects

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Drugs and Effects

The following blog gives insight into a common issue experienced by those on the opposite side. Understanding what you are observing and having a better insight into this subject matter. It offers you the tools to identify and assist those who are covertly destroying their body-mind-spirit through a lack of understanding of the effects of their addiction is impacting their lives and those closest to them.

When there is awareness, one can move forward, reaching a goal and seeking professional pathways to be liberated from the claws of addiction.

Drug-Induced Dilated Pupils

Mydriasis also commonly called pupil dilation or opening of the iris happens when the iris sphincter and iris dilator are activated. These are the two muscle groups in the eye. What controls a person’s autonomic bodily processes when at rest is called the body’s parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system controls the body’s fight-or-flight response, this triggers the flight-or-fight responses, resulting in triggering the action in the dilator.

Psychotropic stimulants affect the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous systems. This occurs when the compositions of the drugs affect the neurotransmitters in the brain partly to control mydriasis resulting in dilation.

What Drugs Cause This?

A person with enlarged pupils is an indicator that something is going on. Either they are in shock, traumatized, under the influence of a substance or have some emotional-mental instability. Out of these scenarios, it is most likely someone under the influence of drugs. There are various substances, such as stimulant drugs. We cover this later in this article.

The signs are evident when you know what to look for, allowing you to determine if someone is using is not that difficult.

  1.     Certain drugs cause pupils to dilate more than others because of the effects they have on the parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous system.
  2.     Ecstasy, psilocybin, LSD, cocaine, SSRI antidepressants, psilocybin, and amphetamines can be the cause of dilated pupils.
  3.     Pupil dilation is not always completely evident due to substance abuse, it is dependent on the drug of choice.
  4.     There are other signs to look for. Pupil dilation is the first indicator during assessments.
  5.     Law enforcement, emergency rescue, and health professionals have a protocol followed in determining substance abuse and the drug used.

Neurotransmitters That Cause Pupil Dilation

  1.     Amphetamines
  2.     Cocaine (Crack)
  3.     LSD (acid)
  4.     MDMA (ecstasy/molly)
  5.     Mescaline 
  6.     Methamphetamines (meth)
  7.     Psilocybin
  8.     SSRI antidepressants
  9.     Stimulants (Adderall and Ritalin)

There is a brain chemical that affects the mood known as serotonin that affects the brain, it activates the 5-HT2A receptors in the brain resulting in dilation.

Benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax cause pupils to dilate by affecting the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA. Resulting in a muscle-relaxing effect. Stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall are stimulants that cause dilated pupils as well. 

Muscles in the eye affect how the muscles in the eye react. They control the amount of light entering in. Perception certainly plays a role in how it affects the brain, reaction to light can be an automatic response to how the pupils react. Many drugs influence and affect perception in the brain, there can be an altered effect in response to the reaction of the light, resulting in the pupil’s response in an atypical fashion.

Pupil analysis is only the first step in assessing sobriety. Other indicators are heavy sweating, dry mouth, excessive activity, and mood swings (anger, sadness, crying, guilt, rage, hostility).

Through correct assessment, one can establish the correct amount of pupil dilation and potentially the source. There are international standards based in accordance with the amount consumed. The categories are categorised (depressants, stimulants, inhalants, hallucinogens, phencyclidine, narcotics, and cannabis).

The determining factors are measured in accordance with a scale, this may also include gaze, convergence, light reaction, state of pupil dilation, and the various levels of pupil dilation. This scale when held up will indicate visually how much or little dilation there is.

If addiction is affecting you or your loved one’s life, Dr John’s Systems & Solutions is here to help. With over 33 years of experience in working with trauma, addiction, abuse, anxiety, depression, and all other emotional-mental related issues.

Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction

Also known as prescription medication, this is a form of pharmaceutical drug that is sold with a prescription. The medical prescription is issued by a licensed physician or doctor. Prescription drugs are not like over-the-counter drugs.

Abuse: This happens when a dependency on prescription pharmaceutical medication occurs due to a voluntary pursuit of the euphoric feeling experienced by some medications.

Once the individual experiences these sensations they may decide to seek more of the effects, and dosages are increased to alleviate the physical, emotional, and mental pain or sickness. As they get used to the drugs the dosage is increased. This usually creates a tolerance for the effects and substance’s presence within the person’s body and mind.

When tolerance is built, quitting is challenging. Dependency is built through the increasing dosage. The central nervous system gets used to the drug’s presence, assisting the brain while performing certain functions.

As addiction becomes a habit, misuse creates compulsiveness, making it difficult to overcome. Long-term use creates detrimental consequences, mental illness, and physical injury while taking its toll in affecting personal and professional relationships. 

Any addiction can be resolved when you seek a professional. Dr John’s Systems & Solutions offer a complete package of hypnosis, counselling and coaching to achieve your goals. This is a process that requires dedication and commitment, each person is treated with the utmost respect and kindness, assisting you in setting and achieving your goal to recovery and living your life to the fullest as best you can. Commitment is the key, perseverance gifts you the opportunity for your freedom, liberation, and empowerment.

Everything in life starts in the mind, you need to go into the mind to resolve the issues. When you free your mind, you free your bondage to your past. The price of achieving your freedom is very simple. Identifying there is an issue is 50% your healing, the other 50% is starting your journey by freeing your mind from the shock, trauma, abuse, guilt, shame, anger and other negative emotions holding on to you. You are more powerful than you realise. Through hypnosis, you can change your life for the better.

After all, what started in the mind is resolved in the mind. Hypnosis works by diffusing the limitations to awaken the potential. Freeing oneself from the limiting belief systems, through this comes empowerment through self-healing.

A doctor’s signature is required to attain a prescription, they can be misused in various ways, including:

  1.     A friend or family member with a prescription
  2.     Taking increased doses which is more than the required amount
  3.     Deliberately attaining a refilling prescription without a doctor’s order

These are some of the most common ways of the misuse of prescription drugs leading to prescription drug addiction. Some of the prescription medications are not misused due to the associated side effects – they all have associated effects. Psychoactive prescription drugs are classified according to the appeal to those misusing or for treatment of illness or pain.

Opioid painkillers – prescription drugs acting on the opioid receptors within the body’s nervous system to reduce pain. Available in tablets, liquid form, and capsules can be highly addictive, requiring a prescription.

A doctor’s prescription may include opioids which are extremely effective for pain relief. They can improve the quality of life for the pain sufferer suffering from chronic pain, during cancer treatment, and after surgery.

The use of opioids develops quickly in tolerance and a dependence and addiction can form within two weeks if taken regularly. The increase in dosages may be experienced as severe side effects, and extreme injury on various levels including death.

Common opioid drugs

  1.     Oxycodone – OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan
  2.     Codeine – Tylenol with Codeine, Vopac
  3.     Diphenoxylate – Lomotil
  4.     Fentanyl – Duragesic
  5.     Hydrocodone – Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin
  6.     Hydromorphone – Dilaudid
  7.     Meperidine – Demerol
  8.     Methadone – Dolphine
  9.     Morphine – Avinza, Kadian and MS Contin
  10. Propoxyphene – Darvon


Stimulant prescription drugs have a similarity and resemblance to the effects of cocaine. They increase alertness, focus, and energy, some suppress energy and they elevate blood pressure. Some take these stimulants to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), symptoms such as inattentiveness, feeling impulsive, and hyperactivity.

They usually come in the form of a pill, skin patch or liquid. The stimulating effect depends on the product. There are three classifications short-acting, medium-acting, and long-acting.

Most Common Stimulating Drugs:

Short-acting drugs need to be taken more often. The most common types are:

  1.     Adderall
  2.     Dexedrine
  3.     Focalin
  4.     ProCentra
  5.     Ritalin
  6.     Zenzedi

Medium / intermediate-acting – last longer and require regular dosage to work. Popular ones are:

  1.     Evekeo
  2.     Metadate ER
  3.     Methylin ER
  4.     Ritalin SR

Long-acting – effective for hours, days and even weeks. The effects are increased alertness. Popular ones are:

  1.     Adzenys XR-ODT
  2.     Adderall XR
  3.     Concerta
  4.     Daytrana
  5.     Focalin XR
  6.     Metadate CD
  7.     Mydayis
  8.     Quillivant XR
  9.     Quillichew ER
  10. Ritalin LA
  11.   Vyvanse

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Marijuana and alcohol are depressants to the central nervous system slowing down the brain’s activity. This can be understood as the effects similar to sedatives or tranquillizers. Often referred to as “downers”. Most depressants work by having a controlling effect on the secretion of the brain neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid.

The effect it has causes a decrease in brain activity, leading to a level of deep calmness, and drowsiness. For this reason, people suffering from anxiety and sleep issues welcome this. Hypnotherapy is a very powerful tool to assist in achieving deeper sleep states and reducing levels of anxiety.

The most common central nervous system depressants include:

  1.     Barbiturates
  2.     Benzodiazepines
  3.     Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications

Most popular:

  1.     Benzodiazepines are diazepam (Valium)
  2.     Alprazolam (Xanax)
  3.     Triazolam (Halcion)
  4.     Estazolam (ProSom)

These are often prescribed for the treatment of acute stress and severe stress and panic attacks. If taken for an extended time, one can become dependent as tolerance has stimulated the addiction.

Non-benzodiazepine sleep medicines:

  1.     Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  2.     Zalepon (Sonata)
  3.     Zolpidem (Ambien)

Acting on the same receptors as benzodiazepines with a lower risk of dependence.

Barbiturates include:

  1.     Phenobarbital (Luminal Sodium)
  2.     Mephobarbital (Mebaral)
  3.     Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal)

Less often prescribed compared to other sedatives, the risk of higher risk of overdose.


  1.     Are prescription drugs
  2.     Treat psychological disorders such as schizophrenia
  3.     Treat issues stemming from bipolar disorder

Antipsychotics were discovered in the 1950s. There are two classes of antipsychotic drugs:

  1.     Typical, older: flupentixol, chlorpromazine, levomepromazine, haloperidol, perphenazine and periciazine.
  2.     Atypical, newer: clozapine, aripiprazole, amisulpride, olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine.

Prescription drugs are ramp within the age group of 18 and 24. Courtesy of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse resulting from prescription drugs.

In 2014, over 1,700 young adults died, mostly due to opioids.

  1.     Approximately 15 percent in this age range misuse prescription medication.
  2.     130 emergency room visits.
  3.     28 treatment admissions.
  4.     From 1991 to 2011, prescriptions dispensed for opioids continued to increase.

Opioids are not the issue. Statistically, more than 25 percent of Americans receive prescriptions treating a psychiatric or behavioural disorder. This high level of prescriptions circulating increases the rate of people struggling with disorders related to substance abuse resulting in addictions to the drug’s ingredients.

Based on the 2012 – 2014 USA survey on drug use, 11.3 million American adults ages 12 or older reported taking prescription and non at least once within a year.

The Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs


  1.     A very potent stimulant
  2.     Mainly used in treating ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  3.     Very quickly develop a drug tolerance
  4.     Over time higher doses are required to achieve the same effects
  5.     Required increase in dosage, results in the addiction to drugs that include amphetamine, such as Adderall

Common street names

  1.     Bennies
  2.     Black Beauty
  3.     Crosses
  4.     Hearts
  5.     LA turnaround
  6.     Speed
  7.     Truck driver
  8.     Upper


  1.     Derived from barbiturate acid
  2.     Includes certain derivatives enhancing the action of GABA
  3.     Causes severe physical and psychological dependence 


  1.     A special class of inhibitors
  2.     Specifically acting on the GABA-A receptors
  3.     They open certain GABA-activated chloride channels
  4.     Allowing chloride ions to enter the neuron
  5.     Chloride ions presence make the neurons negatively charged, causing people to become less likely to get excited

Benzodiazepines ingredients found in

  1.     Ativan
  2.   Halcion
  3.   Klonopin
  4.   Librium
  5.   Valium
  6.   Xanax

Common street names

  1.     Candy
  2.     Downers
  3.     Sleeping pills
  4.     Tranks


  1.     An opioid
  2.     Taken to relieve mild to severe pain
  3.     Found in some medication
  4.     Used for treating cough and even diarrhoea
  5.     Used for pain relief
  6.     Often prescribed along with paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen
  7.     A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  8.     Most common opiate
  9.     Prescribed
  10. Most misused drug around the world
  11.   Every year, over 300,000 kilograms of codeine are consumed
  12. Cough syrups and tablets containing codeine available without a prescription


  1.     An opiate pain-relief medication
  2.     Found naturally in several plants and animals
  3.     Acts directly on the central nervous system
  4.     Relieves both acute and chronic pain
  5.     Over 500,000 kilograms of morphine are produced each year
  6.     Small percentage is used directly in medication for the relief of pain
  7.     70 percent produced is used to make other opioids such as oxycodone, hydromorphone, and heroin

Included in many commercial drugs, including:

  1.     Duramorph
  2.     Kadian
  3.     Morphine Sulfate ER
  4.     MS Contin
  5.     Roxanol

Common Street Names

  1.     Miss Emma
  2.     Monkey
  3.     White stuff


  1.     An opioid
  2.     Taken to relieve mild to severe pain
  3.     Found in some medication
  4.     Used for treating cough and even diarrhoea
  5.     Used for pain relief
  6.     Often prescribed along with paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen
  7.     A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  8.     Most common opiate
  9.     Most misused one around the world
  10. Every year, over 300,000 kilograms of codeine are consumed
  11.   Cough syrups and tablets containing codeine available without a prescription
  12. Easy to become addicted

Common Names

  1.     Empirin with Codeine
  2.     Fiorinal with Codeine
  3.     Robitussin A-C
  4.     Tylenol with Codeine

Street Names

  1.     Cody
  2.     Captain Cody
  3.     Schoolboy
  4.     Doors and fours
  5.     Loads
  6.     Pancakes and syrup


  1.     An opioid
  2.     Most controversial usage
  3.     Taken to reduce withdrawal symptoms of narcotics i.e., heroin
  4.     Effectiveness of methadone in treating people with heroin misuse disorders is medically questionable

Most common names

  1.     Amidone
  2.     Dolophine
  3.     Heptadon
  4.     Methadose
  5.     Physeptone
  6.     Symoron


  1.     A stimulant in the phenethylamine family of drugs
  2.     Assists in treating ADHD and narcolepsy

Found in commercial drugs

  1.     Aptensio
  2.     Daytrana
  3.     Equasym
  4.     Medikinet
  5.     Metadate
  6.     Methylin
  7.     QuilliChew
  8.     Quillivant
  9.     Ritalin

Other Drugs Causing Dilated Pupils

MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

Side effects

  1.     Pupil dilation
  2.     Dry mouth
  3.     Decreased appetite
  4.     Increased heart rate
  5.     If taken orally, spreads through the bloodstream quickly
  6.     Increases feelings of confidence, deep thought, insightfulness, heightened senses, and communication


  1.     Effects experienced within a few minutes
  2.     Effects last up to 3 hours
  3.     Cannabinoids are stored in the fat cells and spread throughout the body.
  4.     Cause visual impairments
  5.     Mild hallucinations
  6.     Visual impairment
  7.     Slows down reaction times
  8.     Red or glossy eyes are a common symptom

LSD and Psilocybin (Mushrooms)

  1.     Hallucinogens such as LSD
  2.     Symptoms are restlessness, sleep deprivation, and dilated pupils
  3.     Effects range from 6 hours to 12 hours depending on the intake


  1.     Is a narcotic
  2.     Usually paired with alcohol for the dual effect
  3.     Ingested orally
  4.     Effects begin within a few minutes
  5.     Last up to half an hour
  6.     Suppresses the reuptake of the hormone norepinephrine (chemical messenger sending signals throughout the body)
  7.     Excessive use results in nose bleeds, mental level complications, chronic red eyes, lesions, and ulcers


  1.     Contains ethanol
  2.     Body reacts to the substance
  3.     Mild to moderate symptoms
  4.     Can cause blurry vision, dilated pupils, and even night blindness
  5.     Ethanol may also be present in tears, affecting the function of the eyes


  1.     Affect dopamine receptors
  2.     Hijack the reward centrepiece of the brain, increasing production
  3.     Users often have a larger-than-life sense of euphoria

Common symptoms

  1.     Aggression.
  2.     Anxiety
  3.     Dilated pupils

Take Control Of Your Anxiety With Hypnotherapy

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