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 (a narcotic); cocaine
(a stimulant); LSD, mescaline, PCP, methamphetamine, and psilocybin
(hallucinogens); marijuana and hashish (cannabis); and gamma-hydroxybutyrate
(GHB). Although GHB is legal in Europe for anesthetic uses and in the United
States for government-approved clinical trials for treating narcolepsy, it has
been otherwise illegal in the United States since 1990.
The effects of illegal drugs can be unpredictable because:
Most drugs are very
People respond differently to the same
The strength or potency of the drug may be
They may contain unknown or unexpected substances. There
is no quality control for street drugs like that required for prescription
They may interact with other drugs or alcohol in
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.