The term "drug" covers a broad spectrum of substances. Although most people associate it with illegal drugs, the truth is that there is a lot of drugs that are of legal consumption. Let's see what substances exactly this concept refers to.
Types of legal drugs
The first thing we usually think about when we hear about drugs is those that are illegally distributed by drug traffickers. The cannabis, cocaine or heroin are some examples of what usually comes to mind, since they are the most common.
However, the concept "drug" is much broader, since it is a word whose meaning implies an addiction. In this sense, there are many substances that are considered as drugs and that can be consumed legally. But what are these types of drugs?
Alcohol. One of the most common legal drugs is alcohol. Its consumption is widespread, although almost all countries in which it is legal to consume it establish a minimum age to do so.
However, access to alcohol is quite simple, so that anyone can consume it and end up suffering an addiction to it. Bottles of alcoholic beverages are available to anyone in a supermarket. It is therefore one of the most consumed drugs in the world.
Nicotine. Nicotine is another drug that you will surely be tired of hearing about. This substance is what causes us to develop addiction to tobacco, one of the products that have also been most restricted in consumption in recent years.
The strong addiction caused by this substance makes quitting smoking one of the New Year's resolutions that is the most difficult for most smokers to fulfill. To achieve this, all kinds of substances to "cheat" the brain and get it.
Opioids: This is another of the most controversial legal drugs that exist. Its consumption must be prescribed or supervised by a specialist, since some can be very addictive. What this type of medication does is mimic the effect of endorphins.
They are mostly used for relieve acute pain caused by serious diseases, as is cancer. A well-known example is the case of morphine. As we say, it must always be administered by doctors.
Xanthines: Caffeine, theobromine, theophylline. It is another of the most consumed substances in the world, although most people do not even know that it is drugs. This is considered so because they cause a chemical alteration in the brain.
In other words, substances such as caffeine cause a stimulating effect, which generates an increase in brain activation. It is the reason why many people need to drink coffee early in the day, because if they do not feel unable to face the day.
Consequences of legal drug addiction
Legal drugs, although they are distributed legally and we all have access to most of them, involve a number of risks. One of them is the addiction they produce, which causes the person to develop a dependence on the substance in question.
Depending on the type of drug, addiction can lead to one type of problem or another. In the end it is a substance with psychoactive effects, so misuse or abuse can be very dangerous to health.
For example, one of the usual consequences of Xanthine addiction such as caffeine are anxiety, sleep disturbances depression, extreme irritability or concentration problems. In the medium and long term it can also have cardiac consequences, since the excess of caffeine affects the heart rhythm.
In the case of alcohol, at the level of physical health has consequences such as liver damage. In the mental section, alcohol addiction or continued consumption causes memory or concentration problems. In the long term it can even lead to a cognitive impairment that can lead to dementia.
Nicotine also causes serious damage to the body. Among the most common consequences are lung cancer, diabetes, infertility and impotence or diseases of teeth and gums.
As for opiates, they also generate a strong dependence. The big problem with this is that a tolerance to the substance is generated, so that a larger amount will be needed each time to achieve the effect that was had with the initial dose.
In short, as you could see legal drugs can also be very harmful, so you always have to consume them under medical supervision. We hope that after reading this article the concept has become much clearer.