In 2014, a report released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated that over 20 million Americans aged above 12 years have struggled with addiction at one point in their lives. The report also revealed that around 85% of the drug users were addicted to opioid drugs. The most commonly used drug were heroin, methadone, prescription painkillers, and cocaine. Here is a list of the most addictive drugs.
Heroin is an opiate drug that is highly addictive and has a high potential for abuse. The drug is produced from the opium poppy plant, which is native to Asia. Heroin is usually injected, smoked, or snorted by users. It can also be dissolved in water and injected intravenously by addicts.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is used to treat opioid addiction. It also serves as a pain reliever for individuals who have chronic pain due to cancer or HIV/AIDS. Methadone can be administered orally, through an injection, or in combination with other drugs such as buprenorphine (Suboxone). The drug acts on opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, thereby blocking the pain-relieving chemical called endorphins. T
his causes a feeling of intense euphoria and feelings of relaxation for most users. However, methadone may cause withdrawal symptoms when it stops being taken by users or when it becomes unavailable because of regulation or supply issues. These symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation and abdominal cramps
- Muscle pain
In addition to these physical effects experienced by methadone users, many methadone-dependent individuals develop mental health problems, including depression and anxiety disorders, due to constant craving for this highly addictive drug.
Alcohol is a depressant drug that can cause a person to become drowsy and lose the ability to function normally. It also causes a person to feel relaxed and happy, which can lead to the use of this drug in the future. Alcohol is often abused by individuals who are under stress or by those who are seeking relief from depression or anxiety. It is also used as a social lubricant for parties and other events. Social drinking is a practice that is becoming more socially acceptable; however, people realize that it may not be appropriate for their health.
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug that has the potential to cause an overdose when abused by individuals who have no experience. Cocaine acts on dopamine receptors in the brain, causing euphoria and intense stimulation of pleasure centers of the brain. This effect makes cocaine extremely addictive because users crave it even after they have already experienced its harmful effects on their bodies and mind. In addition to being an addictive stimulant drug, cocaine can also cause severe psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, mania, and depression.
Methamphetamines are a highly addictive stimulant drug classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Methamphetamine is an illegal street drug that can be made at home. Methamphetamine is often added to other illegal drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and cocaine to increase their potency. Users of methamphetamine may experience euphoria, increased energy, and alertness.
Marijuana is a highly potent hallucinogenic drug with some medical use in the United States. Marijuana is usually smoked in cigarettes or pipes. It can be found in various forms, including:
- Marijuana flowers
- Hash oil (hashish)
- Wax (hashish)
- Resin oil (hash oil)
- Budder (cannabis extract)
Marijuana affects users by causing euphoria or feelings of relaxation or pleasure, which may cause users to become dependent on it because of its ability to produce pleasurable effects without causing significant harm to an individual’s body and mind.
Nicotine is usually smoked in cigarettes or pipes. Alternatively, nicotine is available in various forms, including:
- Nicotine gums
- Nicotine lozenges
- Nicotine patches
- Transdermal patches
Nicotine is addictive because it acts on the brain similarly to many other substances. Nicotine binds to specific nicotine receptors. These receptors are located throughout the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. When these receptors are activated, they cause a chain reaction that ultimately leads to changes in electrical activity within the brain. This electrical activity is an action potential or nerve impulse, and it causes the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters. Nicotine also affects people by causing a physical dependence on this drug.
Physical dependence occurs when an individual’s body requires more of this drug over time to produce desired effects. When an individual stops using nicotine after becoming physically dependent, they will experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Recovery from addiction is a journey that requires support. If you are ready to get started, call us today at 833-846-5669.