Illicit Drugs

Illicit Drugs

There are a wide range of illicit drugs available in the black market, amongst them heroin, cocaine and several types of hallucinogens and amphetamines. Illicit drugs are highly addictive and open to abuse and dependency, even if an individual tries them out of “curiosity”. Once or twice is enough to spark of an addiction and with it, serious health risks. Overdosages resulting in death are not uncommon, claiming the lives of many users annually.

What are Illicit Drugs?

Illicit drugs are not permitted to be sold, traded or bought legally in the United States. These drugs fall under the following categories:

  • Hallucinogens: As implied by its name, hallucinogens such as LSD alter the user’s perception of time, space and reality.
  • Stimulants: Increasing heartrate and brain activity, cocaine is one of the most heavily abused stimulants in the illicit drug market.
  • Opioids: Although doctors can legally prescribe certain opioids, illegal ones have penetrated the black market and are susceptible to abuse for their capacity to dull the user’s perception of pain.
  • Sedatives: Sedatives produce calming effects in users and while not all are illegal, users can resort to illicit means to obtain more than what they are prescribed.

Illicit Drug Examples

What are the Side Effects of Illicit Drugs?

While the side effects of illicit drug abuse will depend on the specific substance of abuse, there are certain common ones to look out for:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

As a person’s body gets used to a drug, they require more to achieve the desired effect. This results in them ingesting stronger and more frequent doses over time, increasing their dependency on it.


Understanding Illicit Drug Overdose

It goes without saying that overdosage is dangerous and can result in fatalities. While the symptoms of an overdose can differ based on the specific kind of drug taken, the CDC has reported that over 80% of overdose deaths that involved illicit drugs are caused by opioids. This includes heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine, either in isolation or taken in combination with other substances. In addition, the CDC also identified that more than 3 in 5 people who died of an illicit drug overdose had an identified opportunity for care.


How to Treat Illicit Drug Addiction

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medications for treating illicit drug addiction to date, many rehabilitation centers utilize a holistic approach that includes both medical treatments and therapies in helping patients break off chemical dependency. Many patients who suffer from substance use disorder also have a mental health disorder, and this dual diagnosis is known as a co-occurring disorder. To this end, rehabilitation centers like Spark To Recovery do not just focus on weaning patients off the drug, but ensuring that they are in a state of mind that makes developing healthy coping mechanisms possible.

Why Work with Spark To Recovery?

At Spark To Recovery, we are dedicated to every patient’s recovery and you can be assured of receiving the best care from our team of doctors, drug addiction treatment experts, therapists and counsellors in a safe and supportive environment.

Start your illicit drug addiction therapy today. Call Spark To Recovery at 818-849-5467 today if you want to schedule an appointment with us.

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