What an illegal drug is any drug made unlawful under a country’s laws. So for instance in the US, all Schedule I drugs in the Controlled Substance Act are illegal drugs, aka illicit drugs.
A drug is any chemical that affects the way your mind and body works. Illegal drugs are said to have no medical treatment benefit, therefore just having them in your possession subjects you to criminal prosecution. Worth noting is that some of the drugs on the list are not illegal in other countries, in fact a couple are used for medical purposes.
So what about medical marijuana and peyote, which are both on the illegal drug list. Some states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes and for now federal enforcement is on hiatus. And peyote is not illegal when used in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church.
The justification for making a drug illegal is its high potential for abuse, or addiction. When used in excess, many illegal drugs have a devastating effect on your health. And depending on the drug and mode of use (smoking, snorting, injecting) , some of the particular health effects include:
- heart failure
- heart attack
- birth defects
- brain damage
- muscle spasms
- impaired senses
- sweating & chills
- respiratory failure
- short term amnesia
- serotonin syndrome
- muscle atrophy, dystonia
- liver problems, liver failure
- immune system suppression
- vision impairment, blurred vision
- central nervous system depression
- lung problems ~ pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema
Illegal drug use treatment may involve detoxification, counseling, psychotherapy and medication. The best course of conduct for avoiding all the health effects from an addiction is to never use illegal drugs to begin with.