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Addiction » Drugs - Legal and Illegal



Drugs are biologically active chemicals; that is, they have an effect upon the body causing changes to the taker's physical or mental condition. Often this is the aim, such as blocking pain signals from/to the brain following surgery or injury.

There are three main types of drugs:

Over the Counter or Non Prescription Drugs

Drugs Prescribed by a Doctor

Illegal Drugs

Drugs from all three groups can, if taken wrongly, cause health problems.


Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs

Simply because a drug is legal does not mean it is safe under all conditions. Medications

come with dosing guidelines that must be followed to ensure your own safety. Many

prescription medications are available only be prescription because of serious side effects or the possibility of addiction with long term use or misuse. Addiction to prescription drugs is an increasing problem. Often people become addicted to pain medications after taking them to combat an injury. Side effects can range from psychological disturbances to stomach, liver, heart and kidney injury.

Rehabilitation programs
offered in a drug treatment center helps speed up the recovery of drug dependents.


Tobacco and nicotine are legal and it is well known they are not safe. Nicotine is one of

the most addictive substances known, and it is a drug. While a lot of the damage is done

by the method of intake (smoking) the barrage of drugs and chemicals (many are known

toxins and carcinogens) also have a number of serious side-effects. There is absolutely

nothing healthy about smoking and it generally does little to relieve stress aside from

cause a feeling of relaxation, or a distraction for some people. It damages the mouth,

tongue, teeth, digestive tract, lungs, heart and also does superficial damage to the skin

and nails of the fingers used to hold the cigarette/cigar. Like alcohol it is generally the

surroundings that are more effective in stress relief than the cigarette. Getting out of the

office for a 5 minute ‘smoko’ is in itself relaxing, without the cigarette. Sitting around with

friends having a chat is relaxing without the beer, nuts and cigars.


It is the fact that people condition themselves to associating the relaxation with the drug

and not the other activities that assists in the development of addictions.

When over the counter and prescription medications are taken only occasionally, they are unlikely to cause problems. When taken regularly, perhaps as a preventative measure (rather than as a cure for some problem), the likelihood of complications can increase significantly. Problems are not uncommon with overuse of the following non prescription drugs:



eg. Asprin or acetaminophen, codeine -taken for headaches


eg: Caffeine -taken to combat fatigue


taken to combat insomnia or allergies


taken for a cold or blocked nose


taken for constipation


taken for indigestion


There are of course other over the counter drugs which can be a problem, however these in particular should be watched as they are the most commonly taken. Prolonged

overuse, beyond that stated as safe on the product packaging can result in such things as digestive upsets, kidney problems, loss of appet

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