Illegal drugs are chemical agents that cause stupor, coma, or insensibility to pain. The term usually refers to opiates or opioids, which are called analgesics.
Illegal drugs consumption can lead to the formation of physical and / or psychological dependence (addiction), in which an addicted person experiences a need for regular use of these substances, in the absence of which he experiences physical pain (withdrawal sickness), or mental discomfort (such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia).
In addition to the commonly understood identification of drugs, there are more specific. Thus, the U.S. legal definition states that a drug is any substance capable of causing addiction, whether it has a pharmacological effect or not, the use of such substances is restricted by law. In more general sense, a drug is any substance, which can cause addiction (so sometimes alcohol beverages are considered as drugs).
In addition to alcohol, there is a whole group of substances, both of vegetable and synthetic origin, which tend to affect the mental state of the person. Alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee, opium, coca leaves, khat, magic mushrooms and cacti, etc. fall under the “natural” type. There are also quite a lot of synthesized compounds.
Synthetic opioids are the most widely known of the group (methadone, fentanyl, promedol), amphetamines, hallucinogens (LSD), barbiturates, tranquilizers. To varying degrees, all of these substances may lead to the addiction, but illegal are only those of them that are included in the official list of illegal drugs, free circulation of which is restricted by law. Adding a substance to the illegal drug list is based not only on its ability to cause addiction, but also on the social and cultural traditions. Thus, alcohol and tobacco can lead to more pronounced addiction than marijuana or hallucinogenic fungi, nevertheless, no alcohol or tobacco are included in the illegal drug list.
There are different classifications of substances that can cause addiction: pharmacologically, by origin, by the risk or dependence potential.
Pharmacologically opium drugs are natural opiates and include all substances with opioid properties, including synthetic, stimulants, which include amphetamines, cocaine, sedatives and tranquilizers (barbituric acid derivatives, benzodiazepines), psychotomimetic (hallucinogenic mushrooms, mescaline, and LSD)
The first known to people drugs became plants containing narcotic substances. Among plant-based drugs, there are well known opiates (opium and its derivatives), derivatives of cannabis (marijuana, hashish, etc.), as well as cocaine and crack, which are made from the coca plant.
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