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Understanding of Illegal Drugs

What are illegal drugs?

Illegal drugs are those drugs, which are controlled or banned by the government and are termed as illegal in given situations. Basically a drug is chemicals that influence the functioning of the human body and drugs that affect the brain is known as psychoactive drugs. Prescription drugs are those prescribed by doctors while illegal drugs are those, which are not permitted for anyone to have. Some of the illegal drugs include; Ecstasy, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, amphetamines, cannabis, and some of the tranquilizers, etc.

What are the different types of psychoactive drugs?

There are various types of psychoactive drugs. However the major classifications include:

  • Hallucinogens
  • Depressants
  • Stimulants
  • Anti-psychotics

Even within these 4 major classifications of the types of illegal drugs there are other types involved. For instance, though the two types of drugs called opiates and benzodiazepines are individually different, they come under the category of depressants whereas; illegal drugs such as ketamine have constituents that can be categorized as both depressant as well as hallucinogens. Since every drug is unique with different properties, it is essential to understand every drug along with the understanding of the category it belongs to.
Hallucinogens alters the way people feel, hears, look, and think, making them see what is not there or see things very differently from actually what is, etc. They are known to hear what is normally not heard by any and their own sounds may change. Regarding emotions, the illegal drugs causing hallucinogenic effects create strange thoughts and emotions in people. Examples of hallucinogen illegal drugs are; marijuana or hashish, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, PCP, LSD, steroids, etc.
Depressants are drugs, which decline or slow the function of the central nervous system. Hence, people who use illegal drugs that are depressive, feel content, happy, relaxed, and sleepy. These drugs also slow the breathing rate and make people very slow in movement and speech when sufficient amount of dozes are consumed. Examples of depressants include paint thinner, hair spray, glue, etc.
Stimulants are those drugs, which hastens the working of central nervous system and hence people who use the illegal drugs belonging to this category experience excitement and happiness with increased energy and motivation. These mostly disturb the sleep pattern. Some of the stimulants used as illegal drugs include amphetamines, GHB, methaqualone, glutethimide, etc.
Anti-psychotics are those drugs, which balance the moods of people or prevent hallucinations. Most of these are legal drugs but termed as illegal drugs when possessed by people illegally without prescription of any doctors. Examples of anti-psychotic drugs include navane, haldol, thorazine, abilify, etc.

Why do people consume drugs?

Illegal Drugs

There is no need as such for using illegal drugs. However, desire is more and most of the drugs used by people are initially very pleasurable and later the body and mind becomes dependant on the drug. Hence people continue to use them and find that amount of drug required to take them high gets more and more with longer usage and thus the dozes become higher.

The addiction and prolonged use of the illegal drugs, which are strong, slowly takes away the insight of seeing the risks involved in those drugs. Eventually many reach the 'point of no return', and the very purpose of them becomes avoiding the pain of going without the drugs.

Legal Drugs

In general, people use drugs for medical reasons to feel better and these are either prescribed by a doctor or over the counter medicines, which people take on their own. However, certain drugs are also being used by people for recreational activities, to stay awake, to sleep, etc.

Some also use drugs for religious or spiritual purposes. Few examples are:

  • Christians using wine as a religious practice
  • Native American Church use Peyote, which has a drug called mescaline
  • Hindus use cannabis, which has drugs called CBD and THC for religious reasons
  • Law and Drugs

Based on the country in which one lives in, the drugs might be termed as legal or illegal drugs. Some drugs are legal in some countries and illegal in others. For example, the drug cannabis is legally permitted in Ecuador while it is illegal in the U.S alcohol is illegal in the UAE whereas; the same is legal in the U.S. for adults.

Some drugs are legal when prescribed by a doctor and the same are termed as illegal drugs when one possesses these without prescription. If the person who possesses the prescription drugs illegally, he or she can be arrested when caught using the drugs. Hence, the term illegal drugs can vary according to the country and it is important to understand the laws of the respective country in which one lives in.

Addiction of Illegal Drugs

Addiction is the term used to define the condition of a person who uses a legal or illegal drug for a long period, after which he or she becomes physically and mentally dependant on the drugs. The dependence level reaches a point where the person feels sick when not able to consume the drug for some reason. There are rare cases where people commit suicide or die out of helplessness. This dependency restricts the person from leading a normal life in some cases. Some of the illegal drugs such as heroin, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, etc. are very addictive by nature and several people die due to the effects of these.

Health and Drugs

Any drug is a form of chemicals and illegal drugs are no different. Certain drugs such as tobacco, which has nicotine, and alcohol, cause thousands of deaths in the world each year. Drugs such as psilocybin mushrooms or cannabis are not that harmful to cause death though in the long run they cause severe disease conditions in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

On the other hand, people who have consumed alcohol or other intoxicating illegal drugs are unfit to drive or operate machines, as they may end up in accidents.

Overdosing on illegal drugs or even legal drugs can cause dangerous health issues or at times even death. Some of the drugs like alcohol, heroin, aspirin, etc. are easy to get overdose. Most of the drugs create long-term ill effects on health physically and mentally.

Even combination of drugs can be either negative or positive based on the individual drug effects.


Whether you use legal or illegal drugs, it is very essential to understand the effects it has on you and save your health and life.