Illegal drugs are drugs which are prohibited by law. This is often based on the fact that these drugs cause damage to a person's brain and other organs, and that the drugs are highly addictive. Many celebrities have become addicted to drugs that killed them; many more non-celebrities have also died at a young age from drug addiction.
Many people become addicted to legal drugs as well, especially alcohol, but also pain killers, anti-depressants, nicotine. Drugs, both legal and illegal also have significant effects on babies inside the womb, so pregnant women should use all drugs with caution.
Some drugs can be used by athletes to gain a competitive advantage in many sports, including track and field, cycling, baseball and weightlifting. Drugs often abused in this way include amphetamines, steroids and EPO. Commonly known as doping, this practice is forbidden in almost all sports for two main reasons:
- It is considered to be unfair.
- While these drugs provide short-term physical benefits, they often do long-term harm, leading to shortened careers and poor health in later life.
- See, e.g., Hollywood values.