However, many governments, government officials and persons in law enforcement have concluded that illicit drug use cannot be sufficiently stopped through criminalization.
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Examples include anesthetics, analgesics, anticonvulsant and antiparkinsonian drugs as well as medications used to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and stimulant medications.
Some psychoactive substances may be used in the detoxification and rehabilitation programs for persons dependent on or addicted to other psychoactive drugs.
However, some have postulated that the urge to alter one's consciousness is as primary as the drive to satiate thirst, hunger or sexual desire.
[D]rugs are able to bring humans into the neighborhood of divine experience and can thus carry us up from our personal fate and the everyday circumstances of our life into a higher form of reality.
These substances may be used medically; recreationally; to purposefully improve performance or alter one's consciousness; as entheogens; for ritual, spiritual, or shamanic purposes; or for research.
Some categories of psychoactive drugs, which have therapeutic value, are prescribed by physicians and other healthcare practitioners.
Thus, pain can often be managed using psychoactives that operate on this neurotransmitter system, also known as opioid receptor agonists.
This class of drugs can be highly addictive, and includes opiate narcotics, like morphine and codeine.
General anesthetics are a class of psychoactive drug used on people to block physical pain and other sensations.
Most anesthetics induce unconsciousness, allowing the person to undergo medical procedures like surgery without the feelings of physical pain or emotional trauma.
Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but unlike many others, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions.