Substance abuse in America is rife, and according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2017, 19.7 million Americans (age 12 and over), battled drug abuse.
Whilst this survey is a few years old at this point, that doesn’t mean that addiction has settled down, and in some respects, it can be even higher in certain areas.
Today’s article is about what the most addictive drugs are and how they affect people.
Whilst there is no one addictive drug, there are quite a few that are very close together, and with some users, their abuse does not stop at drugs and can lead to other disorders such as alcohol addiction and prescription drugs.
If you or someone you know uses addictive drugs and/or has an alcohol abuse problem, it is important to reach out and get the right help.
There are many addiction hotlines that you can call as well as websites with all the right information for you to access if you need it.
Remember, you are not alone, and the drug and alcohol abuse you are dealing with can be helped by the right professionals.
What is Drug Addiction?
Addiction to drugs like crack cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and so on, is considered a disease that impacts the circuitry of the brain and the behavior of the individual.
People are unable to control their drug use, and they have not only a psychological dependence but a physical dependence as well as it is affecting the brain’s reward system which makes them crave their drug of choice more.
This can turn into chronic drug use which can then present itself in withdrawal symptoms and cravings for that particular addictive substance without the drug being used.
What Are The Most Addictive Substances?
Whilst we will be talking about the most addictive drugs out there, we will also be talking about other substances like alcohol, which may not technically be considered a drug, but it is still a substance that can cause physical and psychological dependence.
All drugs will have a variety of effects, and in some cases, there are drugs available that have been known to help people, however, further study is still needed and they will not be discussed today.
This drug, like some other drugs on this list, is classed as a stimulant drug.
It is quite common on the streets and is taken from the coca plant which grows in South America. It is normally distributed in white powder form and it is quite noticeable in its clear packet.
Whilst it is a drug that is well-known and used a lot, it is unfortunately not always pure for users. It can be cut with other substances like opioids and amphetamines, and in some cases to bulk it out, it can be mixed using starches and flours.
The unfortunate side to this is that this can cause people to overdose if it is used with other drugs that hit them hard.
People will snort cocaine which will spike dopamine levels in the brain resulting in a very quick high that becomes short-lived, making users want more.
These are known as a central nervous system depressant.
They are commonly prescribed by doctors to help people who experience anxiety and need to calm down their anxious responses.
These types of depressants can also be used for epilepsy treatment, however, that is not always the case because of their addictive traits.
Even though they can be prescribed, they are not always, which is why they can be sold on the streets with other illegal drugs and be highly addictive to those who use them.
They are a class of drugs also called “downers” which can calm people down who have had stimulant drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamines.
Those who are trying to withdraw from these drugs will have the same symptoms as those who are going through alcohol withdrawal which can be quite dangerous without proper supervision.
This is a type of opiate drug made from morphine.
Heroin addiction is easily achieved when taking this drug as it provides an intense high to the opioid receptors which makes people crave it again and again.
People become physically dependent because the natural supply of dopamine gets depleted each time it is used, so people need to keep taking it consistently for them to feel these effects.
The powder is either white or brown and comes with another substance called black tar.
This is a serious drug to be addicted to and America is currently dealing with a heroin epidemic similar to their addiction to opioid drugs such as painkillers.
It may not technically be a drug, but it is highly addictive with millions of adults having an alcohol use disorder.
It is a legal substance and easy for people to get their hands on, despite the age limits, it is not hard for young people to procure any type of alcohol.
It releases dopamine into the brain and helps people decrease their social anxiety so they feel relaxed when they are in social situations.
This can make people crave it more so they can get that relaxed feeling along with a high so they can get that rush of endorphins.
Detoxing from alcohol addiction can be very intense and it should be handled by professionals that can help them get clean safely.
This is a man-made drug and is incredibly harmful to those who take it.
Any type of meth is a stimulant, however, this particular one is the strongest and most dangerous to the body.
It can be used in a variety of ways, whether people want to snort it, inject it, or smoke it, there are multiple uses.
It brings euphoria to the body and produces an intense high which makes people crave that feeling over and over.
However, if too much is taken then it can produce aggressive or violent behavior as well as psychosis.
People with heroin addiction will be given methadone to help them get off heroin, however, despite the fact that this is supposed to help, it can still be highly addictive when used alone.
Patients who are given this as a form of treatment will need to be very closely monitored by medical professionals to ensure they are using it correctly and at the right dose.
There are other drugs that can be used instead of methadone to help heroin users, and they have fewer concerns, but the treatment depends on the individual and what the doctor will think is best for their recovery.
These are prescription drugs that are given to patients who are going through feelings such as anxiety.
Xanax is one of the most widely known types of benzodiazepine. They have replaced barbiturates mostly but still have the same addictive effects.
People will not always use them in the way they are intended and will get addicted to the way that they can make them feel, so they will be sold to people if they are unable to get a prescription for them.
So, what is the most addictive drug? Well, unfortunately, there is no one drug that is the most addictive, and across the board, there are many out there that can cause people to get addicted and develop serious issues.
It is never easy to get off any type of drug or substance that evokes feel-good chemicals, people want to chase that as much as possible, and with increasing problems in the world, people will turn to things that make them feel a sense of happiness.
If you are someone who is going through this now, then know that there is help out there for you and you are not alone in your journey to recovery.
Take care of yourself and know that you do matter and your life matters, so get the right help to set you on a better path.