Illicit Drugs

With approximately 22 million users nationwide, illicit drugs include some of the most prevalent and potentially dangerous substances around.

Drug Addiction

While the decision to use a drug for the first time is usually a voluntary one, an unexpected addiction can make the decision to quit later significantly harder.

Addiction changes the way a person’s brain works, and consequently, the way they think and act.

The first part of an addiction is physical dependence on the drug. This can be recognized by a tolerance to and withdrawal symptoms from the drug of abuse. Tolerance occurs when you need more of the drug to get the same effects as when you started. Withdrawal is the negative symptoms that occur when a person who is used to using a drug stops using the drug.

Drug Addiction Statistics

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, you’re far from alone. An estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older (approximately 9.2 percent of the population) had used an illicit drug or abused a prescription drug in the month prior to a study that was conducted in 2012. Rates of illicit drug use is highest among those aged 18 to 25.

Common Drugs of Abuse


A stimulant with effects similar to caffeine, cocaine is most often snorted in powder form. It is highly addictive and continued abuse can cause severe weight loss and damage to the nasal passages.


The more potent, freebase form of cocaine, crack is usually smoked through a short pipe that often causes blisters and burns on the mouth and hands. An addiction to crack can develop in as little as one use.


Used by many high-schoolers and young adults, ecstasy is considered a party drug or rave drug. It is a stimulant with potentially hallucinogenic effects. Many instances of ecstasy on the black market are cut with other drugs.


One of the most addictive substances known, heroin is a synthetic derivative of morphine. Heroin comes as either a powder or a sticky gel, known as black tar heroin. Long-term abuse of this addictive drug can cause abscesses.


One of the most commonly abused drugs, marijuana comes from the cannabis plant and is usually dried out, rolled up and smoked. More commonly known as “weed” or “pot”.


A deadly and addictive drug, methamphetamine (or meth) is a substance that can be made from easily obtained items such as lithium batteries and drain cleaner. Both making .


LSD, PCP, mushrooms and salvia are all examples of psychoactive or mind-altering drugs. While addiction to this type of drug is less common than other drugs, use.