Illegal drugs

Illegal drugs are those that are not prescribed by a doctor or bought at a drugstore. They are sometimes also called "street drugs."

Some examples of illegal drugs include heroin (an opioid); cocaine (a stimulant); LSD, mescaline, PCP, methamphetamine, and psilocybin (hallucinogens); and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). GHB is legal in Europe for anesthetic uses and in the United States for government-approved clinical trials for treating narcolepsy. But it has been otherwise illegal in the United States since 1990.

The effects of illegal drugs can be unpredictable because:

  • People respond differently to the same drugs.
  • The strength or potency of the drug may be uncertain.
  • They may contain unknown or unexpected substances. There is no quality control for street drugs like that required for prescription drugs.
  • They may interact with other drugs or alcohol in unpredictable ways.
  • Even though they look like prescription drugs, they may contain dangerous chemicals.
 
 

PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities.