Drugs are substances that affect chemical processes in our bodies.
Medical drugs are designed to treat specific illnesses. They have undergone clinical testing to show their benefits outweigh their side effects and must be taken strictly as advised. But people take recreational drugs at their own risk.
Some recreational drugs are illegal, others are legal, depending on the country, and in some cases age limits apply.
But all can have damaging effects on our bodies, minds, and society.
The degree of danger depends on the nature of the particular drug and includes several different factors.
The direct effects of the drug on the body, the risk of an overdose, and how addictive the drug is.
When these factors are considered, widely used drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol, rank as some of the most harmful substances we are exposed to.
For example, tobacco can directly damage many body organs and cause cancer.
It kills an incredible half of all its long-term users. And it's highly addictive, so once started it becomes a habit that is extremely difficult to break.
People may think they can try such drugs and not become addicted, but addictive substances have powerful chemical effects on the brain that we simply can't control.
Two of the most dangerous recreational drugs of all wreak their damage because they are so powerfully addictive.
Heroin and cocaine.
They may give a quick, intense buzz, but it is short-lived and their effects on the body's reward system locks the body into a constant cycle of physical dependency.
Even just one use is enough to leave the body with strong physical and psychological cravings.
And once people are addicted they will get physically ill if they stop.
This totally wrecks lives as users become unable to think of anything else except their next fix.