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Illicit Drugs

Drug addiction is considered a brain disease because drugs can change the way the brain works and negatively impact an individual mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Drug addiction can also be dangerous and fatal. Therefore, it is best to get treatment before things get out of control.

Many drugs are legally available in the United States, but that does not make them any less dangerous. Prescription drugs like opioids, benzodiazepines, and ADHD medications get abused each and every day.

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Every state has its list of legal or illegal drugs, and thus the terms illegal drugs and illicit drugs are used interchangeably. However, the status of the legality of drugs varies from state to state. Illegal drugs are addictive and they can get people into serious legal trouble. Sometimes, these drugs are more potent, as well.

Illicit and Illegal Drugs

Illicit drugs are a type of drug that includes either depressant, hallucinogenic or stimulant drugs. Illicit drugs can be dangerous to use but are sometimes used for medical reasons. Making a list of illicit drugs in the USA is not an easy task as these drugs vary from state to state and can also include household items such as cleaning materials. Therefore, compiling an exhaustive list is impossible.

Not all illicit drugs are illegal. Marijuana is one of the most popular forms of illicit drugs, as it can cause hallucinations. With that being said, even though marijuana is illegal on a federal level, it is legal in some states. And, in others, it is legal only for medical use.

All illicit drugs affect brain functions and can impact the nervous system. They also distort a person’s sense of reality and cause panic attacks and paranoia. These drugs are known to cause changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Drugs can also cause depression and other mental illnesses in people.

Types of Illicit Drugs

While there are many different types of illicit drugs, the most widely abused include:

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is the most well-known type of hard drug; it comes from the coca plant. The plant undergoes a lot of processing to turn it into a hard drug. It comes in the form of a white powder that is usually snorted.

Crack cocaine is made from baking cocaine with baking soda until it forms crystals. These crystals are then broken down and smoked or injected.

Both crack cocaine and cocaine are stimulants that increase body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. They may cause people to get anxious, talkative, paranoid, excited, or irritable.

While cocaine is most commonly abused illegally, it does have a limited medical use. In some cases, doctors may use it for local anesthesia before surgery. Crack cocaine, on the other hand, has no medical use. Both substances are highly addictive.


Ecstasy is mostly used as a recreational drug to derive pleasure. It is most commonly abused by people attending raves, nightclubs, or parties. It is a hallucinogenic drug with stimulant properties. Users may feel euphoric and experience mild hallucinations. Ecstasy will also increase a person’s body temperature and heart rate. Under this drug’s influence, a person can unknowingly grind his teeth or chew on his gums.

Ecstasy is manufactured in clandestine laboratories and has no medical use. It is addictive and can easily cause psychosis, dehydration, or overdose.


Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous illicit drugs. It is also used in medical settings, primarily to treat cancer patients with severe and chronic pain. However, it is commonly found on the streets mixed with cocaine or heroin.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 8 times stronger than heroin and 10 times stronger than morphine. Even in small doses, it can make a person stop breathing and lead to overdose. The problem is it is usually used as a cutting agent to make other substances cheaper, so some people don’t realize they are taking fentanyl until it is too late.


GHB is a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy. It slows down the nervous system. It makes the user feel sleepy and can cause a blackout state. However, it is commonly abused in the United States.

Other common illicit drugs include Heroin, Ketamine, LSD, Marijuana, Meth, Mushrooms, Opiates, PCP, and Rohypnol.

Illicit Drugs and Withdrawal

Illicit drugs affect a person’s life in many ways. These can often be dangerous and long-term effects. People who are prone to drug abuse or addiction need to undergo a comprehensive addiction treatment program to lead a healthy life.

Often, an addict’s body becomes used to the drugs, and they are unable to function properly. Therefore, completely withdrawing from drugs can be as deadly as the side effects can be severe. Withdrawals depend on two factors; how long the person has been addicted and the type of drug they are consuming.

Drug withdrawals are part of the treatment process. Since they can be life-threatening, it is important that patients are treated in a medical setting. Medications can be administered by medical professionals to help reduce their withdrawal symptoms and cravings. These detox medications will also prevent harmful side effects.

No matter what substance a person is detoxing from, withdrawal processes should always take place in a rehabilitation facility. This is the safest and easiest way to detox from illicit drugs.

Treatments for Illicit Drug Use

Anyone who struggles with illicit drug addiction of any kind should seek help from a Massachusetts addiction treatment center. Therapies can be customized to meet each patient’s specific needs.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers are the safest way to get treatment for addiction to illicit substances. Detoxing and withdrawal from drugs take place in these facilities. The process can be life-threatening and hard to go through if the addict has been using substances for a long time. However, drug rehabilitation centers provide proper care and therapeutic services as professionals are available at all hours of the day.

Different types of rehab services are also available. These include inpatient and outpatient rehab. While outpatient rehabs are considered more affordable, the addict can sometimes return to their drug abuse habits if they are not ready for independent living. As a result, outpatient may be less effective as compared to inpatient rehab centers, where the individual is treated on a residential basis.

We believe that with a little help, anyone can overcome their addiction. If you or someone you love is facing a drug addiction or abuse problem, please reach out to us. We will help you become a healthier individual as we believe that addiction is curable with proper treatment and care. It is our job to help you get the support that you require. We aim to provide you with professional services and the best possible care.


Valerie Tecci, Program Director

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We believe everyone struggling with substance use disorder deserves the treatment they need. Our team is here to help you every step of the way.

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