When you hear the word drug, most people go straight to the heavy illegal stuff, like cocaine and heroin, but the word drug includes many other things as well. Caffeine, tobacco, and other substances some of us use on a daily basis are considered drugs. A drug is defined as any chemical substance, that when absorbed into the body of a living organism, that alters normal bodily functions. There are pharmaceutical drugs and recreational drugs. In reference to pharmaceutical drugs, according to Dictionary.com, a drug is “a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.” Whereas recreational drugs are “any controlled substance used to alter one’s mind state or for non-medical purposes without the permission or supervision of a physician.”
One of the most popular legal drugs in the United States is without a doubt caffeine. It can be found in coffee, soft drinks, tea, energy drinks, and many other food stuffs that we consume on a daily basis. In fact the world’s largest source of caffeine comes from roasted coffee beans.
The term drug also encompasses the field of illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD. Many of these drugs are used by people who want to have fun or relieve stress. Although this may seem like a good idea to the user at the time, it is never a good idea. Most drugs can quickly become addictive and may even cause death. For instance, alcohol, a legal drug, can become addictive to the person using it, but usually it takes longer to become addicted to alcohol than it does to become addicted to harder, more dangerous drugs like heroin. Genetics can also play into whether or not a person becomes addicted to a drug. If someone has a family history of alcohol or drug abuse, that person is more likely to experience addiction than with no family history of it.
The American Marijuana Policy Project claims that marijuana provides medical relief to those patients suffering with cancer or AIDS. One chemical found in marijuana, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is considered to be a controversial treatment for medical use. Some religions around the world are based entirely of the usage of drugs, those drugs are called entheogens. Whether or not people use them for recreational or religious purposes, illegal drugs should remain exactly that, illegal. They are damaging to the people who use them and this is why the vast majority of nations around the world have outlawed the usage of illegal drugs.