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The line between recreational drugs and doctor-approved medicine has never been clear-cut.

In the past decade alone there's been

no shortage of studies looking into the potential medicinal benefits that several illegal drugs can offer.

Legal Drugs

Drugs are chemicals that are known to change the way a body functions. Medicines are legal when they are taken in proper doses
and when they are prescribed by doctors. However, drug abuse is termed illegal.

Tobacco and alcohol are two drugs that are legal in most countries though an individual lower than the age of 18 buying tobacco and
one lower than 21 buying alcohol is considered illegal in US.

Illegal Drugs

Whenever we think or hear of the phrase illegal drugs, images of marijuana, charas, LSD, and other psychotic and hallucinogenic
come across our minds. Cocaine, heroin, Cannabis, etc. are some of the popularly known illegal drugs. However, abuse of legal drugs
is also considered illegal in many jurisdictions. Illegal drugs or controlled drugs carry penalties for consumption and even possession.
There are classes of these drugs with different penalties for different classes of different drugs.

These drugs are largely illegal to prevent susceptible people from self-harm and drug abuse, and while debate rages over legalisation
of various substances, some researchers are looking into ways these substances could be harnessed for good.


Cocaine might be a well-known stimulant, but studies show this drug has long been used as a topical anaesthetic in the Andean
tribal communities of South American thanks to its numbing properties. Cocaine is also used as a treatment for irritable bowel
disease and other intestinal dysfunctions. Most famous, however, is cocaine's ability to alleviate headaches; it was originally an
active ingredient in the beverage Coca-cola, before the substance was made illegal.


A study at Hannover Medical School found opiate addicts - usually people addicted to painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, or
Demerol - were able to better kick their opiate addiction after taking small dosages of heroin. Heroin is also commonly used
in hospitalised pain management, particularly in palliative care.


Also known as 'Special K', this drug is commonly used as a horse tranquiliser. It's also a frequent option for recreational drug takers
at music festivals and raves. But a 2012 study found ketamine could in fact fight the symptoms of chronic depression. The study
claims the drug aids the growth of brain synapses, a neurological structure which allows chemical signals to pass more easily and
effectively throughout your nervous system, making a person more reactive to the world around them.


Cannabis or marijuana has long been known to provide pain relief for chronic illnesses. Marijuana also offers relief from PTSD
symptoms, controls nausea, and can minimise some symptoms of glaucoma and Crohn's disease. In US states where the drug is
legalised, products for such things as period pain management are being made available to the public.