Illicit Drug Addiction

Addiction Treatment

Illicit Drug Abuse & Addiction

Providing Alternative Addiction Treatment In Arizona

The majority of illicit drugs are highly addictive, and the risk of overdose is elevated due to the unmonitored manufacturing processes involved. If you find yourself grappling with illicit drug abuse, seeking treatment promptly may be crucial for preserving your life.
Illicit drugs are classified as controlled substances, with most lacking approval for medical use. Possessing, selling, or using these substances illegally can result in criminal consequences.
In 2017, over 11 percent of U.S. citizens aged 12 and older acknowledged using illicit drugs. Many individuals within this demographic struggle with illicit substance use disorders, presenting a formidable challenge to discontinuing drug abuse without professional treatment.

Effects of Illicit Drug Abuse

Illicit drug abuse can lead to physical dependence, addiction, and overdose, with various substances presenting a wide range of effects and health risks.


Heroin, an opioid drug, targets brain receptors to block pain and induce euphoria. As a central nervous system depressant, it also promotes a sense of relaxation. Highly addictive, prolonged heroin use can result in physical dependence. Commonly administered through injection, heroin abuse can lead to long-term health problems such as liver, kidney, or lung diseases.


Cocaine, a stimulant, elevates dopamine levels, creating a pleasant feeling and increased energy. Due to its quick onset and short duration, repeated use heightens the risk of addiction. Commonly snorted or smoked, cocaine abuse can cause long-term health issues like panic attacks, psychosis, and heart problems.


A highly addictive stimulant, methamphetamine produces a brief rush of euphoria and energy, leading to a pattern of “binge and crash.” Increased dopamine levels can result in addiction, with the drug commonly administered through snorting, smoking, or injection. Methamphetamine abuse is associated with skin sores, tooth decay, and extreme weight loss.


While legalized in some states, marijuana remains an illicit drug in many areas. It is a psychoactive substance with varying effects, including relaxation, euphoria, heightened senses, or paranoia. Often smoked, marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC, is now found in various forms such as oil and edibles. Despite perceptions of harmlessness, regular marijuana use can lead to psychological withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and irritability.


These drugs alter perception and consciousness, inducing hallucinations or a sense of disconnection from reality. Common hallucinogens include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, PCP, ketamine, salvia, DXM, and MDMA. Administered through various methods, including snorting, injection, smoking, or ingestion, hallucinogen abuse can result in memory problems, depression, or psychosis.


Household items like solvents, aerosols, gasses, and nitrites are inhaled to produce intoxication and euphoria. Easily accessible and often underestimated, inhalants, including paint thinner and glue, can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, nerves, and brain.

Illicit Drug Overdose Risk

There is a significant risk of overdose with any illicit drug, influenced by factors such as dosage, frequency, and potential drug interactions. Depressant drug overdoses, like heroin, can cause respiratory distress, while stimulant overdoses may result in a rapid heart rate and seizures. Illicit drugs, lacking monitoring akin to prescription drugs, may contain unknown substances or dangerous combinations, posing additional risks.
Fear of legal consequences may deter individuals from seeking help during an overdose. Some states have Good Samaritan laws protecting those who call for help during an overdose from legal repercussions.
It’s crucial to understand the risks associated with illicit drug use and seek prompt medical attention in case of an overdose, prioritizing health over legal concerns.

Treatment Options For Drug Addiction

Treatment approaches for drug addiction may differ depending on the specific drug or drugs being abused. Reputable drug rehabilitation programs typically design personalized treatment plans tailored to meet individual needs, ensuring optimal care.
Drug addiction treatment commonly incorporates behavioral therapy, counseling, and participation in support groups. Evidence-based techniques are often complemented by activities such as exercise, meditation, and other experiential therapies to promote a holistic and healthier lifestyle.
For information on our treatment options for illicit drug addiction at Heartfelt Recovery, please contact one of our treatment specialists today (603) 207-1633 .