illegal drugs

Street drugs refer to substances that are sold and distributed illegally, typically on the streets. These drugs are not legally produced, regulated, or sold through legitimate channels like pharmacies. Examples include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy (MDMA), and various synthetic drugs. Street drugs often carry significant health risks due to their unknown purity, potency, and potential contamination with harmful substances.

Illegal drugs pose significant risks to health. The impact of drugs on your health can be even more detrimental given your age. Illegal drugs can:

  1. Impact vital organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs, and can even alter brain chemistry.
  2. Lead to addiction, blood-borne illnesses (when using injection methods), exacerbate symptoms of mental health conditions, or trigger their onset.
  3. Cause overdose or even death.

To minimize the risk of overdose:

  • Use only one drug at a time, or reduce quantities if mixing.
  • Start with a small dose and test its effects.
  • Never use drugs alone; always have trusted individuals around who can assist if necessary.
  • Have a clear plan in place for responding to an overdose.

Overdose is prevntable: know the signs | CMHA


FENTANYL: Since illegal drugs are not regulated by the government, dangerous additives can be present in street drugs, such as illegally produced fentanyl powder.

– Fentanyl is a powerful pain relief medication, much stronger than other opioids (morphine, codeine, oxycodone, etc.). Very small amounts—a few grains of powder—can cause overdose or even death.

– You cannot smell, taste, or see fentanyl if it has been added to another drug. Dealers may not know if the drugs they are selling have been contaminated or how potent the dose is.

Counterfeit Pills – What You Need to Know – Fact Sheet

CAMH | Fentanyl


LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), or ‘Acid’, is a powerful hallucinogenic drug. LSD is typically found in the form of a small, square piece of colorfully designed/ patterned paper known as a “tab” or “blotter. It alters perception, thoughts, and emotions by affecting serotonin receptors in the brain.

To learn more: CAMH | LSD 


Methamphetamine, often called meth, is a potent stimulant drug, it is typically found as a crystalline powder or in rock form. It affects the central nervous system by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and increased energy.

To learn more: CAMH | Methamphetamine


Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine. It is usually found as a white or brown powder, or as a sticky black substance known as “black tar heroin.” Heroin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, causing a rush of intense pleasure and euphoria.

To learn more: CAMH | Heroin


Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is a synthetic drug with stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. It increases the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and altered sensory perception.

To learn more: CAMH | Ecstasy


Cocaine is a potent, highly addictive stimulant drug derived from the coca plant. It typically comes as a white powder and can be snorted or dissolved and injected. Cocaine blocks the reabsorption of dopamine in the brain, leading to intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and alertness.

To learn more: CAMH | Cocaine


Crack cocaine is a potent and highly addictive form of cocaine. It is processed into solid rocks or crystals and is typically smoked for a rapid and intense high. Crack cocaine produces immediate euphoria and heightened alertness by rapidly entering the bloodstream.

To learn more: CAMH | Crack Cocaine


PCP, or ‘Angel dust’, is a powerful hallucinogenic and dissociative drug. PCP can be found as a white powder, liquid, capsule, or colored tablet. It disrupts normal brain function by blocking the neurotransmitter glutamate, leading to distorted perceptions, detachment from surroundings, and altered sensations.

To learn more: CAMH | PCP


Ketamine is a powerful dissociative anesthetic that is used medically for both humans and animals. It’s often found as a clear liquid or white powder, and can be injected, consumed orally, or added to drinks. It disrupts normal brain function by blocking the neurotransmitter glutamate, leading to profound effects on consciousness and perception.

To learn more: CAMH | Ketamine


GHB, often referred to as “roofies” or “liquid ecstasy”, is a central nervous system depressant that can affect the brain and body. GHB is known for its sedative and euphoric effects as well as its association with drug-facilitated sexual assaults resulting from sedation and memory loss.

To learn more: CAMH | GHB 


Psilocybin, or ‘Magic Mushrooms’ is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain types of mushrooms. When ingested, psilocybin is converted into psilocin in the body, which interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to altered perceptions and sensations.

To learn more: CAMH | Psilocybin Mushrooms

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