Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Why are Some Drugs Illegal?

Why are some drugs illegal?  The government is solely responsible for the overseeing the manufacturing and distribution of certain drugs in the country yet there still exists illegal ones on the market. This is due to the black market that has become difficult to curb,  especially with the rising levels of technology.

A legal drug is defined as having a recognized medical use and  is not prohibited by the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  Being classified in this category enables the manufacturer to sell the drugs in retail establishments throughout the world.  These can be prescription drugs or over-the-counter preparations such as cold medicines, etc.

Although alcohol is a legal drug, it is tightly controlled and abusers can face legal consequences.

What Constitutes the Classification of “Illegal Drug”?

Psychoactive drugs are among some of the substances that have been named illegal. Cocaine is a strong stimulant and leads to addiction, restlessness, euphoria and impotence. Others also are given in a certain level or amount which when exceeded is considered illegal. These drugs are mainly used for fun and that is why they are not legalized. They are considered as detrimental especially in societies which value their culture and believe that the drugs are not supposed to be used for other reasons rather than treatment or prescribed by the physician.

Religious affiliations, especially in Islamic countries, prohibit alcohol and even levy a sin tax when one is found selling or consuming it.  Minors caught using the drugs often find themselves facing justice and those involved are severely punished.

In the US, legal drugs are classified according to medical efficacy and addictive properties.  If a drug is not included in these classifications, it is considered illegal.  However, just because a drug is classified as a Schedule I, II,  III, or IV drug, does not mean it is completely safe.  Any drug, if consumed for long periods of time or if abused, can cause serious complications.

Not Just an American Problem

Historically, some countries allowed visitors to use opium as long as the address was written on the containers. This led to death of some of the residents and moral decadence of the society. The judicial legislation argued that the drugs led to tax violation since they were not levied as it was done through what they called the black market.  In social life, people need to live in unity so that there can be peace which bonds them together. This is why the government of each country tries to curb drugs which are illegal since they only bring negative results to both the economy and the social life. However, despite all the measures taken to control them, they are always in the market.

It is therefore the effort of each person to ensure that those who get addicted receive professional help and those found selling them face justice accordingly.


  • Charlotte E

    Most addict start with legally prescribed drugs such as painkillers and go down from there. I wish those drugs weren’t prescribed so easily.

  • Kenna Weirich

    This was a very helpful article as I often struggle with understanding why alcohol is legal but marijuana is illegal.

  • Didi Smith

    I just had a realization when reading this article. It had not occurred to me before about the difference between legal and illegal drugs. Yet it is so obvious – legal drugs are used for medicinal purposes while illegal drugs are used for fun and recreation. I guess I never thought about it before seeing that alcohol is a legal drug, it didn’t click. Alcohol has been around for so long, you don’t even recognize it as a drug anymore yet so many people get addicted to it every day and many of them get very violent when drinking. Maybe the best thing would be for all drugs that can be addictive should be made illegal but I know there would be a big backlash on that.

  • carcol

    Good information. Legal drugs versus illegal drugs. Something I hadn’t considered before. To me, drugs are drugs and it seems like some drugs that were used for medical purposes years ago are now illegal and some drugs that have been illegal are now legal. So I never looked at the fact that some drugs are for pleasure and some for medical purposes. It seems to me like they are both able to cause addiction. I think the best case scenario is if you need a drug for medical purposes, it should not be able to cause addiction. Otherwise what’s the point. Doctors are causing almost as many addicts as the drug pushers on the street. It shouldn’t be this way.

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