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What Are The Most Addictive Drugs?

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There are many addictive drugs, and some are more addictive than others. Some of the most dangerous drugs, including heroin, meth, and prescription opioids are highly addictive and can create a dependency in the user faster than other drugs. Detoxing from any of these drugs is potentially life-threatening and tends to be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding, requiring professional medical supervision at a drug rehabilitation center. Here is a list of some of the most addictive and commonly used drugs: 

Cocaine 

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, almost a quarter of people that try heroin will become addicted to it. Heroin is an illicit opiate originally derived from the painkiller morphine and is a highly addictive drug that is widely abused in the United States and other countries. Taking heroin induces relaxation and feelings of intense euphoria, and people can become addicted after a few uses.

Withdrawing from heroin is dangerous and often results in flu-like symptoms, insomnia, dehydration, and depression, and long-term use can cause heart problems, kidney and liver damage, as well as respiratory issues, to name a few. To safely detox from heroin, it’s essential to reach out to an addiction treatment center where you’ll be given the privacy and support to detox with dignity and get through any withdrawal symptoms with as much ease and comfort as possible. 

Cocaine 

Cocaine is an incredibly addictive, illegal drug derived from the coca plant that is usually injected, snorted, or smoked in the form of crack cocaine. Ingesting cocaine results in an intense high as it triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that generates feelings of pleasure. Coming down from a cocaine high causes fatigue and depression, leading people to keep using it to remedy these feelings. 

Withdrawal symptoms kick in a few hours after taking cocaine and can last for several weeks with varying degrees of intensity. To safely detox from cocaine, reach out to an addiction treatment center that can provide you with the medical and therapeutic support you require to manage drug cravings and other common psychological withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and nightmares. 

Methamphetamines 

Methamphetamines are highly addictive, synthetic drugs that are either snorted in powder form, injected, or smoked as crystals, commonly known as crystal meth. Meth is an illegal stimulant drug that induces feelings of euphoria while decreasing a person’s need to sleep or eat. People can develop a dependency on meth rather quickly, leading to increased use, dependency, and addiction. 

Long-term meth use can cause significant brain damage and may also induce violence, aggression, and psychosis when taken in large amounts. Meth significantly impacts the way a person’s brain produces and processes dopamine, causing severe depression and intense drug cravings during the withdrawal process. Withdrawal symptoms kick in 24 hours after use and can last for several weeks. To safely detox from methamphetamines and receive professional medical support to manage drug cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, reach out to an addiction treatment center. 

Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant drug that induces relaxation in the user by triggering the release of dopamine. Drinking alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions while reducing their capacity for critical thinking, which can lead to risky behavior and poor decision-making. Although alcohol is legal, it should be taken with caution as it is an addictive substance with a high potential for abuse. Withdrawing from alcohol is unpleasant and can be extremely dangerous, with several uncomfortable side effects including vomiting, headaches, depression, insomnia, sweating, and in some cases, psychosis and seizures. 

Long-term alcohol abuse can cause kidney and liver damage, and even sudden death. Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder (AUD) tends to get worse over time, which also affects the length of treatment and support necessary to safely detox and recover. Although many physical withdrawal symptoms only last for 48 hours, it’s important to receive support at an inpatient rehab center with a medically supervised detox program that can help you get sober safely. People struggling with AUD often require medication-assisted treatment or therapeutic counseling to help them through the detox process. 

Prescription Opioids 

According to the U.S Department of Health, 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids in 2020. Some of the most commonly abused prescription opioids include codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Opioid drugs are often prescribed to treat chronic and moderate to severe pain but can lead to addiction if a person takes them more frequently or longer than prescribed, or takes them without a prescription altogether. 

Although all prescription opioid drugs have a high potential for abuse, Fentaynal is recognized as the most dangerous synthetic opioid on the market today because of its high potency. Fentanyl takes effect quickly and is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, leading to high rates of overdoses. Street drugs such as cocaine and heroin can also be laced with fentanyl, leading to accidental lethal overdoses.

Withdrawing from prescription opioids once an addiction has been formed is potentially life-threatening and requires professional medical supervision at an addiction rehabilitation center. Medically supervised detox from opioids may include medication-assisted treatment with less powerful opioids to help taper people off the drugs safely, a process that can take several weeks. Some common withdrawal symptoms include suicidal thoughts, nausea, stomach cramps, insomnia, joint pain, and more. If you are struggling with a dependency on prescription opioids, it’s important to get the professional support and treatment you require to get sober with as much ease and comfort as possible. 

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines or “benzos” such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are sedative and tranquilizing drugs that are prescribed for many conditions, including anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. Benzodiazepines affect the transmission of neurotransmitters GABA and dopamine, creating a calming effect in the user. These drugs have a high potential for abuse and should only be taken as prescribed, for short periods of time. 

Some side effects of taking benzodiazepines include depression, muscle weakness, headaches, vision problems, confusion, and memory loss. Some severe side effects include blood disorders, personality changes, psychosis, nightmares, delusions, and suicidal thoughts. Benzos are especially toxic when taken with alcohol or opioids, which can cause overdoses and a range of unpleasant side effects.

It’s dangerous to stop taking benzos cold turkey once a dependency has been formed – doing so will shock the nervous system and can result in many severe withdrawal symptoms including vomiting and hallucinations. If you’ve developed a dependency on benzos it’s important to receive professional treatment at a rehabilitation facility where they will help you taper off these drugs safely, and provide medicated assisted treatment if necessary. 

Find Your Path to Recovery

At Quest 2 Recovery, our holistic treatment philosophy is focused on the unique needs of the individual. Our knowledgeable and professional team members offer incredible support and guidance to everyone who attends one of our programs and also help oversee the practical details involved with attending treatment to make your path to recovery as smooth as possible. With a trauma-based approach in a safe, family-like environment, we offer medical detox and tailored treatment plans to help people learn more about and resolve the underlying issues that cause substance abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact us today.

Sources:

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/adult-addiction-treatment-programs/most-addictive

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/benzodiazepine/mental-physical-effects

https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prescription-drug-abuse/in-depth/tapering-off-opioids-when-and-how/art-20386036

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/meth-treatment/withdrawal

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/risk-of-death

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