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The Difference Between Licit Vs Illicit Drugs

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It’s not enough to understand the difference between licit vs illicit drugs. What’s important is understanding how these licit and illicit drugs work and their effects. Here’s what you need to know. 

Definition of Licit vs Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs are illegal substances. They may be controlled or unregulated by governments around the world. Some illicit drugs are considered dangerous enough to warrant being banned altogether.

Examples of illicit drugs include heroin, cocaine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), and magic mushrooms.

Licit drugs are legal substances. They may be regulated by governments or left unregulated. For example, marijuana is currently legalized in many states, but it remains an illicit drug under federal law.

Examples of licit drugs include caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

List of Licit vs Illicit Drugs

Many licit and illicit drugs can interfere with a person’s quality of life, whether physical health, mental health, finances, relationships, a combination thereof, or other problems. Identifying these drugs and understanding their effects can help us avoid them.

Licit Drugs

A licit drug is any substance that a government agency approves to treat medical conditions. For example, aspirin is a licit drug because it was developed to reduce fever. Aspirin is still prescribed to relieve headaches and minor pain.

Many prescription medications are now available without a doctor’s prescription. These include antidepressants, antibiotics, and sleeping aids.

Some examples of licit drugs include:

Aspirin – A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication that relieves pain and inflammation.

Ibuprofen – An NSAID that treats arthritis, muscle aches, and minor injuries.

Caffeine – A natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda pop, which helps increase mental focus and alertness.

Nicotine – A chemical compound found in tobacco products that is addictive and can cause harm to the lungs.

Alcohol – Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down brain activity and reduces anxiety. This makes it easier to relax and enjoy yourself. However, when consumed in high amounts, it causes memory loss, confusion, hallucinations, and even death.

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs affect the body in different ways and can cause serious problems. Some of these drugs include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, crystal meth, and more.

The following is a list of some common illicit drugs that you may have heard about or seen on television. The information below will help you understand how each drug works, its effects, and how it affects your body.

  • Marijuana: Marijuana is an intoxicant. It stimulates certain parts of the brain and increases alertness. It also has mild sedative properties. However, in some states, marijuana is not considered an illicit drug.
  • Cocaine: Cocaine is a stimulant. It speeds up heart rate and blood flow throughout the body. It also increases energy levels and gives users feelings of euphoria.
  • Heroin: Heroin is a narcotic. It is derived from morphine, which comes from poppy plants. It produces similar effects as morphine but lasts longer.
  • Ecstasy (MDMA): Ecstasy is a psychedelic drug. It alters moods and perceptions. Users often report feeling happy, relaxed, and energized.
  • LSD: LSD is a hallucinogen. It changes perception and creates vivid images in the mind.
  • Crystal meth: Crystal meth is a stimulant. Like cocaine, it increases heart rate and blood pressure.

Can Licit Drugs be Addictive?

Yes! Addiction is defined as compulsive drug use despite adverse consequences. This includes any substance abuse disorder, whether legal or not. Some substances are more addictive than others. For example, opioids (like heroin) are highly addictive and may cause death if used too often. Other substances like cocaine and marijuana are less addictive but still have negative side effects. Generally, there is no significant difference between the addictive qualities of licit vs illicit drugs.

Regarding licit drugs, alcohol is highly addictive and has been proven to cause long-term damage to the brain. Tobacco products are also very addictive and can lead to cancer. Caffeine is another common drug that causes addiction. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger anxiety, agitation, and insomnia.

Finding Help for Drug Addiction

There are many different types of treatment available for drug addiction. Some of the most common treatments include counseling, 12-Step programs, and medications. For those seeking treatment, it is important to find a program that fits your needs and lifestyle. A sober living facility is another option that helps by providing a safe place to live while recovering from addiction. Many rehabs offer both residential and outpatient options.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

An inpatient rehabilitation center provides intensive care during the recovery process. This type of treatment is usually recommended when an individual has a severe case of addiction. Inpatient treatment centers provide 24/7 supervision and help patients develop coping skills and learn how to deal with triggers.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation is done in various settings, including private practice offices, hospitals, and clinics. Treatment is typically shorter than inpatient programs and focuses on helping patients manage cravings and relapse prevention. Outpatient programs are great for individuals who need support after leaving a hospital stay.

Drug Detoxification

Detoxification is a way to rid the body of unwanted chemicals. During detox, a patient will go through withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering. Afterward, the patient will receive medical attention and medication to ease the discomfort.

Sober Living in Los Angeles, CA

A sober living house provides a safe environment where recovering addicts can live together and receive treatment. They often provide housing, meals, and counseling. Some houses will offer employment training and job placement services. At Miracle House Foundation in Los Angeles, CA, we offer all of these services plus beautiful beaches, sporting events, a training facility, and so much more. Contact Miracle House to get help living a sober life.

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