Illicit Drug Addiction Treatment

The stigma surrounding addiction often delays people from seeking necessary care. When illegal drugs are involved, treatment may be further delayed due to legal concerns. At ORC, your care team includes a licensed case manager who can provide legal assistance if necessary.

Illegal drugs are some of the most powerful substances involved in drug addiction. Drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin come with serious health risks even upon first use, and they are highly addictive.

But these drugs don’t need to control your life. At ORC, we provide a wide variety of resources to help you get on, and stay on, the path to recovery.

This includes assistance with any legal concerns you may have, as well as help with getting time off work for treatment.

Personalized to you, your care at ORC involves today’s leading evidence-based and holistic treatment options, provided by medical and clinical experts in addiction care.

Get Started On The Road To Recovery.

Get Confidential Help 24/7. Call Today!

(419) 904-4158

Addiction Treatment Options At ORC

Our programs provide the highest level of addiction care, known as inpatient treatment, or residential treatment.

Unlike outpatient programs, where clients continue living at home, inpatient programs provide around-the-clock structure, support, and care to address a wider range of client needs.

At ORC, this also includes gender-separate cottages and the freedom to enjoy our beautiful 55-acre campus, complete with a pond, hiking trails, gazebo, baseball field, and more.

Medical Detox

When your body and brain become dependent on a drug in order to function normally, it can be difficult to stop using that drug on your own.

ORC’s withdrawal management team of nurses and other medical staff can help reduce or even eliminate your difficult withdrawal symptoms, keeping you safe and more comfortable. 

Although medical detox is many people’s first step in recovery, it is not considered full treatment.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy, in both one-on-one and group settings, will be a big part of your treatment plan here at ORC.

We provide therapy methods that are proven to help people recover from substance use disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and more.

A trauma-informed approach can address difficult experiences in your past that may be contributing to your drug use. Psychoeducational groups can help you better understand addiction, including how it impacts your thinking and behavior.

Peer Support Groups

Peer support is often essential in recovery, which is one reason why ORC offers a wide variety of peer recovery support groups, including 12-step programs.

Through open and honest sharing in a safe, supportive space, people with similar experiences can connect, inspire each other, build trusting relationships, and strengthen their recovery.

Other Treatment Options And Support 

For people with addictions involving heroin, other opioids, or alcohol, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be an option, offering FDA-approved medications to help reduce cravings and maintain recovery.

Case managers are also available for the duration of your treatment to help ensure your needs are met, including understanding applicable laws regarding time off from work for treatment.

Because ORC offers a holistic treatment approach, you will have plenty of free time for relaxing, socializing, and participating in activities like karaoke, cookouts, game nights, and more.

As you near the end of your treatment program, our continuing care coordinator will meet with you and your care team, and potentially your loved ones if you’d like, for aftercare planning.

To learn more about our addiction treatment options, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center today.

Learn About Illicit Drugs

Illicit drug use is fairly common in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13 percent of people in the U.S. ages 12 and older used an illegal drug in 2019, the most recent year with data available.

The three main types of illicit drugs are depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens.


Depressants are substances that slow down your central nervous system, making you feel sleepy and relaxed. In some cases, they also cause feelings of euphoria. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the most commonly abused illicit depressants include:

  • heroin, a semi-synthetic opioid made from the natural opioid (or opiate) morphine
  • gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a sedative drug often referred to as a “date rape drug” 
  • flunitrazepam (brand name Rohypnol), a benzodiazepine that has no accepted medical use in the United States

Cannabis (marijuana) is also sometimes considered a depressant drug, though it has stimulant and hallucinogenic effects as well.                                                


Stimulants are substances that speed up your central nervous system, boosting your energy, alertness, and concentration. Like depressants, they can also cause feelings of euphoria.

The most commonly abused illicit stimulants include:

  • cocaine, a psychoactive substance derived from the coca plant and used in a white powder form
  • crack cocaine, a rock-like substance made from powder cocaine
  • methamphetamine, a type of amphetamine made from the decongestants ephedrine and pseudoephedrine  
  • synthetic cathinones (also called “bath salts”), synthetic drugs that are chemically related to the khat plant


Hallucinogens are substances that impact your thoughts, feelings, and sense of your surroundings. They can make you hallucinate, which means you hear, see, or feel things that aren’t actually there.

The most commonly abused hallucinogens include:

  • ketamine, a synthetic drug that’s also used as an anesthetic in surgery
  • LSD, a clear or white material made from lysergic acid, which comes from a fungus that grows on grains
  • MDMA (also called molly or ecstasy), a synthetic drug that first became popular at all-night dance parties (or “raves”)
  • mescaline, a natural chemical found in a small cactus called peyote
  • PCP, a white powder that was originally created as an anesthetic
  • psilocybin, a natural chemical found in certain mushrooms (also called “magic mushrooms”)

Health Risks Of Illicit Drug Abuse

Illicit drug use poses a variety of health risks. The specific risks generally depend on the substance used, but most illicit drug use comes with the risk of addiction and overdose.

Risks associated with illicit depressant use include:

  • impaired judgment 
  • impaired coordination
  • depression
  • low blood pressure
  • slowed heart rate
  • respiratory depression (slow, ineffective breathing), which can be fatal

Risks associated with illicit stimulant use include:

  • anxiety 
  • paranoia
  • seizures
  • heart attack
  • stroke

Risks associated with illicit hallucinogen use include:

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • mood swings
  • psychosis (a temporary loss of connection with reality)
  • bizarre behaviors 

ROA-Associated Health Problems

People who use illicit drugs may face additional risks depending on their route of administration (ROA), or how they use the drugs. 

For example, people who inject drugs and share needles have a high risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. Similarly, people who smoke drugs may develop serious lung problems. 

Specific Risks For Young People

Drugs come with additional risks when used by young people. For instance, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), adolescents who use marijuana may have problems with thinking, learning, and memory later in life. This is because regular use of the drug as a young person can hinder brain development, studies show.

Development Of Substance Use Disorder

Illicit drug abuse can lead to drug addiction, a serious health condition in which drug use becomes uncontrollable, affecting every area of your life and greatly increasing your risk of experiencing other negative health effects, legal implications, relationship problems, and more.

Addiction also increases the risk of overdose, which can be fatal. The powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is being cut into illegal drugs and fake prescription drugs alike, and just a small amount can be deadly.

Fortunately, recovery from addiction is possible with evidence-based care.

Seek Treatment At Ohio Recovery Center Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, contact us today to be connected with a compassionate treatment specialist.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Updated on: May 2, 2024

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

Prefer Texting?
We've got you covered.

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support

Receive 24/7 text support right away.
There is no obligation and you can opt out at any time.
Let us walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help:
100% Free & Confidential. Call (419) 904-4158