Picture taken on January 15, 2012 in Lille, northern France, of drug capsules. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

During the last century or so, drugs and their effects on the body have been seriously studied and questioned, which lead to the first important bans. Nowadays, the era of technology has allowed for better understanding of what goes on in the nervous system once an individual consumes a certain substance and if emotions and mental performance are truly affected by it.

The first thing to bear in mind is that whereas the human body naturally produces its own substances that regulate feelings, sensations and emotions, drugs are purely artificial. What drugs do is to temporarily stimulate the mind and/or body to enhance their performance, or depress both of them. It all comes with a long-term cost. Recent studies prove that the components of these substances (even marijuana and tobacco) manage to stick to the body for years adhering to the fat tissue while at the same time they run through the blood stream. The drugs’ permanent presence within the system slowly deteriorates its health and performance.

Secondly, the truth of their alleged dependence has been seriously discussed during the last years. It has been suggested that, instead of the external substance itself, addiction to the drug is a response to the individual’s inner problems; in other words, their lack of sympathy towards themselves and the world makes them more dependant to a substance than the addictive effect. Of course, more research needs to be done on this particular subject matter.

Finally, another issue that has been recently brought up is the dangers of legal drugs. Besides sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, substances such as acetaminophen and morphine could be highly hazardous for the health if not properly administered. The effects of alcohol and nicotine have been greatly studied, but lately, many people have opted to leave sugar and caffeine out of their regular diet fearing their health would deteriorate. They claim to feel healthier and more energetic.