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Drug Information

What is a drug?

In order to help someone overcome drug addiction, we must first know what a drug is, which is any foreign substance taken into the body that may alter or modify one or more if its functions. 

There are often two very different definitions of a drug.  One is a substance intended for use in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or cure of a disease.  The other side of that is something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness. 

If we dig deeper into the history of the word we find ourselves back to the Greek word pharmakon and the Latin word venenum, both of which have the common meaning of poison.  So even though the word may now be defined as treatment, as in the first definition, but the second one listed also describes the same substance.

When it comes down to it, drugs are essentially poisons.  The degree they are taken determines the effect.

We also describe someone under the influence of a drug, legal or not, as being intoxicated.  Well the root “toxic” means poisonous.  No matter how the definition has been perverted over the years, drugs are still toxic or poisonous to a person’s body.  They all have side effects, which can often be more dangerous than the supposed benefits for a particular ailment, symptom or disease. 

This doesn’t negate the necessity of some drugs in dire circumstances such as immediate life-threatening situations, but the majority of illegal drugs now, or at least their derivatives were once legally prescribed and even sold over the counter in everyday products.  Cocaine and heroin are good examples of this, but it even includes LSD, Ecstasy and many others.


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