Despite the “high” that comes from illegal drugs, which is often described as “euphoric,” “rush,” “ecstatic,” or “feeling up,” the moment is short-lived. Following the desired effects of the drugs is the crash that results from the chemical imbalances in the body.  Aside from mood and physical changes, energy is depleted, and drowsiness or insomnia often follows. Just as the effects are unique to each drug, so are the effects that follow usage.


Hallucinogens are psychedelic drugs that distort a person’s sense of reality. When they are taken in large doses, hallucinogens have a scrambling effect on the brain –resulting in hallucinations and delusions. Mood can swing dramatically, from feeling euphoric to deeply depressed. These mood swings can bring about violence or suicide. Insomnia may also occur. Marijuana causes a rush characterized by euphoria and relaxation, with a crash that results in sleepiness, insomnia, memory loss, or hallucinations. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) causes a rush that brings on sensory hallucinations (visual, audio) and a crash that requires extended consecutive hours of sleep to overcome a lack of sleep (insomnia) during the duration of the high.

Stimulants (Uppers)

Stimulants stimulate the brain and increase the heart rate. Typical signs of stimulant use are a reduced appetite, high energy levels, insomnia, dilated pupils, talkativeness, irritability, anxiety, increased excitability and hyperactivity, abrupt mood changes, impatience and nervousness. Following are some common stimulant drugs and their properties:


  • Rush: euphoria, hyperactivity, boundless energy, boosted self-confidence, heightened awareness
  • Crash: insomnia, headaches, tremors, paranoia, tremors


  • Rush: mental exhilaration, euphoria, general well-being
  • Crash: depression, drowsiness


  • Rush: euphoria, alertness, energy, boost in self-confidence
  • Crash: excessive sleepiness, psychotic behavior, aggression, violence, memory loss


  • Rush: extreme energy, enhanced sense of pleasure, empathy, increased self-confidence
  • Crash: tiredness, lack of motivation, nausea, vomiting, seizures, biting inside of the cheek

Depressants (Downers)

Depressants are narcotic or tranquilizing drugs that depress or delay certain brain functions. They are used to block pain blocking and alter mood. Heroin is a prominent depressant, with a rush that is characterized by a profound sense of calm and well-being and a crash that includes shallow breathing, weak limbs, drowsiness, pinpoint pupils and dry mouth.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.