Although there are a wide variety of common ingredients to make drugs, certain items are commonly found in many substances. This post will look at some of them.

The creation and development of drugs, whether they are illicit or legal, requires the use of certain ingredients. Although there are variations in the ingredients that are used for different drugs and substances, certain items are commonly found in many drugs.

Inactive Ingredients

According to, inactive ingredients are the items that do not usually cause a reaction or interaction with the primary ingredient. Depending on the specific drug, the inactive ingredients and the concentration of the ingredients will vary.

Some common ingredients that are found in medications and drugs include:

  • Binding materials
  • Various dyes and coloring agents
  • Flavors and flavoring agents
  • Preservatives
  • Certain vitamins or minerals

As a general rule, the inactive ingredients are the items that are used to hold the active ingredients together or to ensure that the medication will last for a specific duration of time. Some ingredients may be inactive when combined with other ingredients or may be active in other situations. Alcohol, which may be used in some medications for colds, flus or similar illnesses, can be inactive or active, depending on the specific medication.

Plant Ingredients

The U.S. Department of Justice explains that certain drugs are made from plants or plant-derivatives. Cocaine, heroin, prescription opiates, and marijuana are all drugs that are made from plant-based ingredients; however, the impact on the body can depend on the specific substance and the concentration of different ingredients.

Plant products can be dangerous to physical health, especially in the case of opiate drugs and cocaine. The substances are very highly concentrated and may be processed, which changes the impact of the plant.

Cleaners, Household Products, and Chemical Agents

The U.S. Department of Justice explains that certain illicit substances, like methamphetamine or similar amphetamine drugs, may be made with household cleaning products or chemical agents that are found in homes, cars, or other buildings.

Chemical agents can be used as ingredients in the process of making the drug or as a part of the final product, depending on the specific item. The U.S. Department of Justice explains that it is dangerous and potentially toxic to make methamphetamine because of the chemical products that are used throughout the process.

The items that may be used to make drugs include:

  • Battery acid
  • Lithium
  • Ammonia
  • Paint thinner
  • Drain cleaner

Making illicit drugs can be very toxic and some of the ingredients that are used can be dangerous when mixed. Although methamphetamine is created with chemical ingredients, it is not the only substance that uses chemical agents to create the substance.

Web MD explains that bath salts, or synthetic drugs that are advertised as a harmless product, are often made with synthetic chemicals. The chemicals can be very dangerous and they are not regulated, so there is a risk of health concerns when any individual uses the substance.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients refer to any primary ingredient that is used to create a medication or illicit drug. Even over-the-counter medications will have active ingredients. For example, an over-the-counter pain reliever may have an active ingredient of acetaminophen.

Essentially, the active ingredients are the medications or drugs that are being purchased. The amount of the substance that is active will depend on the specific drug. In the case of medications, a single pill or dosage will have the stated amount, such as 25 milligrams. Illicit substances may have different methods of determining the amount of the substance that is active and the concentration of inactive ingredients.

Ingredients that are used to make drugs can depend on the specific drug and the type of substance that is being formed. In some cases, the ingredients will be synthetically derived items that are used to create a specific effect. Other drugs are made with plant-based ingredients that are grown and processed to obtain a specific part of the substance. Since the exact ingredients can depend on the drug, it is best to look for any allergies on prescriptions, over-the-counter medications or even vitamins that you or a loved one may use. Inactive ingredients can still cause allergic reactions, even if it is not the primary ingredient.