Loading please wait

The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Explore What Stimulants and Depressants Are

In this worksheet, students will explore what stimulants and depressants are and what effects they have on the human body.

'Explore What Stimulants and Depressants Are' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 7 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Biology: Structure and Function of Living Organisms

Curriculum subtopic:   Health

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Drugs are simply chemicals that can affect the way our body works. There are many different types of drugs and they can be put into three different groups:


1. Medicinal

2. Recreational

3. Illegal


Medicine bottles


Medicinal drugs treat disease or relieve symptoms. For example, painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen would help to lower our temperature if we had a cold. These can be bought from a pharmacy over-the-counter. Antibiotics like penicillin destroy bacteria. If we were to have a bacterial infection, we might be prescribed antibiotics by the doctor - we can't get these over-the-counter without a prescription. 

Although medicines can be easily bought or prescribed by doctors, this does not mean that they are completely safe. Medicines can have many different side effects, so it is important to read the information leaflet before taking any medicines.


 image of coffee, alcohol and cigarettes


Recreational drugs are ones that are taken for pleasure. People take recreational drugs because they like the feelings of pleasure they get. For example, when someone drinks alcohol they may feel more relaxed and confident. Other recreational drugs include tobacco in cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes can improve your mood and concentration, and caffeine in coffee can leave us feeling more active and focused, which might explain why we tend to have a coffee at breakfast time!

Recreational drugs might include illegal drugs.


Image of medicines


Illegal drugs are those that aren't allowed by the law and can be dangerous. Illegal drugs tend to be recreational as well as people choose to take them. Most illegal drugs can cause long-term damage. For example, cannabis can cause memory loss, and heroin can lead to collapsed veins and liver and kidney disease. Cocaine can lead to blocked arteries in the heart, and ecstasy can lead to kidney failure. Many of these illegal drugs will give feelings of relaxation or intense happiness. 


Drugs can be further split into two categories: depressants or stimulants, each having a different effect on the body.

Depressants are drugs that slow down messages to the brain and nerves.

Examples of depressants are alcohol, cannabis, solvents (such as aerosols and glue) and heroin.

The typical effects of depressants on the body are:

Slowed brain functions such as thinking and muscle movement

Blurred vision or hallucinations

Slowed pulse and lowered blood pressure

Impaired judgment and coordination

These effects usually wear off - however, there are some long-term effects of the use of depressants:

Cannabis causes loss of memory and concentration, as well as an increased risk of mental illness.

Alcohol can lead to weight gain

Any depressants can cause breathing or sleeping difficulties


Stimulants do the opposite of depressants. They speed up messages to the brain and nerves and make you feel more alert. 

Examples of stimulants are caffeine (found in coffee, tea and fizzy drinks) which is legal. Then there's cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines, which are all illegal.

The typical effects of stimulants on the body are:

More energy and confidence (stimulants are often illegally used in sports for this reason)

Lack of concentration


Long-term effects include:

Damage to the liver

Damage to the heart

Memory loss

Extreme weight loss


In this activity, we will look at what stimulants and depressants are and their effects on the body.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started

Try an activity or get started for free

  • National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted / Parents
    National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted
  • Private-Tutoring-WINNER-EducationInvestor-Awards / Parents
    Winner - Private Tutoring
  • Bett Awards Finalist / Parents
  • Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents
    Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents