What are the Different Types of Illegal Drugs?

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  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 January 2020
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There are many different types of illegal drugs in the world. Heroin, amphetamines, and hallucinogenics are three examples of drugs that are commonly used illegally. Many illegal drugs have a wide range of effects on the body, and can lead to users' addiction, illness, or death, in addition to the legal ramifications. In certain regions, some drugs are legal for medical use but illegal for recreational use.

Of all illegal drugs, heroin is one of the most addictive and lethal. The euphoric effects on the mind are the reason for recreational abuse. It also has physical dependency qualities, causing acute withdrawal symptoms. Heroin is derived from opium that is farmed and has a large economic effect on many Third World countries. It has been outlawed in most countries because the abuse risk far outweighs the medicinal benefits.


Amphetamines are usually pills that give users energy and make them lose weight. Legal use of the drug is commonly limited to prescriptions in most countries for dieting or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Under a doctor's supervision, medicinal use of amphetamines has been proven safe and acceptable by the US Food and Drug Administration; however, it has commonly been abused for extreme weight loss and its ability to let users get by on very little sleep. Amphetamines are used illegally in colleges around the world because students can use them to stay up late and study, while being able to concentrate with little or no rest. They also have physical and psychological dependency qualities.

Hallucinogenics are drugs that cause euphoria and psychedelic effects on the body and mind. They come in many different forms, including fungus and mold. Some of the more common hallucinogenics are LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and peyote cactus. Dating back to prehistoric times, these have been used in religious and ceremonial events. In the last century, however, these illegal drugs have also been abused for recreational use.

Marijuana is illegal in some countries; however, the plant's medicinal use has become more accepted in certain places. In some regions, the medical community and legislators are exploring or have approved medicinal use of the drug with a prescription and under a doctor's supervision. Marijuana has no known physical dependency, and has been found to help reduce nausea and pain.


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Post 3

@KoiwiGal - Well, people did the same thing when alcohol was illegal. They still drank, they just did it in secret. Although I don't know if alcohol is the best example, because it has ruined quite a few lives over the years.

I personally think that legality should be based around how addictive a substance is and perhaps that there should be some kind of education about how some people react differently to different drugs as well. I mean, my sister has bipolar disorder and she becomes quite psychotic when she takes pot (which, thankfully she doesn't any more) which is far from the usual reaction.

Post 2

@MrsPramm - To some extent I agree, but on the other hand, I can't understand why pot smoking is so wide spread when it's illegal unless it is somewhat addictive.

Why would people risk it, otherwise? I mean, the penalties are so severe. I think that there should be more research into it, but I also don't think it is as harmless as some people claim that it is.

Post 1

Marijuana is becoming more and more accepted by the international community and I think it's about time. The only reason it gets lumped in with more dangerous drugs is that it was originally associated with Mexicans in the US and they made it illegal in order to have an excuse to prosecute them. There is no medical reason for pot to be illegal when alcohol is not. And they spend so much money on enforcing this stupid rule that could be better spent dealing with much more dangerous substances.

I know people think it's a slippery slope, but that's basically because pot is considered illegal. If it were legal, people would no more expect a pot smoker to become a heroin addict than they would expect someone who liked a beer now and then to become a heroin addict.

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