Euphoria (semantically opposite of dysphoria) is medically recognized as a mental and emotional condition in which a person experiences intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement and joy. In the context of drug use, however, it can be split into two distinct states. These are listed below:
Physical euphoria can be described as feelings of pleasure and comfort within and across the body. This euphoria typically feels somewhat comparable to the endorphine rushes felt during states of excitement or love, the coziness of a comfortable bed, and the rush of an orgasm. The forcefulness of this effect can range from subtle in its strength to overwhelmingly pleasurable beyond even the most intense full body orgasm possible.
Physical euphoria is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as cognitive euphoria and muscle relaxation. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of a wide variety of compounds, such as opioids, stimulants, and GABAergics. However, it can also occur in a more powerful although less consistent form under the influence of psychedelics and dissociatives.
Cognitive euphoria (semantically the opposite of cognitive dysphoria) is medically recognized as a cognitive and emotional state in which a person experiences intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement, and joy. Although euphoria is an effect (i.e. a substance is euphorigenic), the term is also used colloquially to define a state of transcendent happiness combined with an intense sense of contentment. However, recent psychological research suggests euphoria can largely contribute to but should not be equated with happiness.
Cognitive euphoria is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as physical euphoria and tactile enhancement. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of opioids, entactogens, stimulants, and GABAergic depressants. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of hallucinogenic compounds such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and cannabinoids.
- "Glossary of Technical Terms". Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.): 821. 2013. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.GlossaryofTechnicalTerms.
- Drevets, Wayne C; Gautier, Clara; Price, Julie C; Kupfer, David J; Kinahan, Paul E; Grace, Anthony A; Price, Joseph L; Mathis, Chester A (2001). "Amphetamine-induced dopamine release in human ventral striatum correlates with euphoria". Biological Psychiatry. 49 (2): 81–96. doi:10.1016/S0006-3223(00)01038-6. ISSN 0006-3223.
- Jônsson, Lars-Erik; Änggård, Erik; Gunne, Lars-M (1971). "Blockade of intravenous amphetamine euphoria in man". Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 12 (6): 889–896. doi:10.1002/cpt1971126889. ISSN 0009-9236.
- Synofzik, Matthis; Schlaepfer, Thomas E.; Fins, Joseph J. (2012). "How Happy Is Too Happy? Euphoria, Neuroethics, and Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Accumbens". AJOB Neuroscience. 3 (1): 30–36. doi:10.1080/21507740.2011.635633. ISSN 2150-7740.
- Lucas, Richard E.; Diener, Ed; Suh, Eunkook (1996). "Discriminant validity of well-being measures". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 71 (3): 616–628. doi:10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1996. ISSN 1939-1315.