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What are the Most Addictive Drugs?

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Drug addiction is a global problem that impacts around 35 million people at any given time. Drug use disorders account for over 180,000 deaths each year, and illicit drug use accounts for over 500,000 deaths. Over 269 million people have used drugs in the past year.

There’s a stark difference between drug use, drug misuse, and drug addiction. Drug use simply refers to the use of any drug, while drug misuse refers to improper or unhealthy use of a drug. Drug addiction treatment, also known as a substance abuse disorder, is the most severe form of drug use.

Using highly addictive drugs comes at a high cost – not just to you but also to your family and loved ones who care about you. It impacts your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and causes a great deal of distress, worry, and disappointment in those around you.

What are the Most Addictive Drugs?

While all drugs can cause harm to an individual, especially when abused, some drugs are more addictive than others. They’re the drugs that consistently lead to drug addiction and often result in overdose or death. They don’t discriminate, and they’ll turn anyone into a statistic.

Let’s take a look at five of the most addictive drugs in the world today:

  • Heroin – one of the fastest-acting and most addictive drugs, heroin is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the brain when injected, snorted, or smoked.
  • Crack/Cocaine – one of the most addictive stimulants in the world. It can be used medically in certain situations, but it is illegal to use crack or cocaine recreationally. 
  • Methamphetamine – another highly-addictive stimulant that’s usually available in crystal form. The ‘high’ doesn’t last very long, which is why people tend to abuse it. 
  • Alcohol – one of the most used drugs, alcohol is a depressant that plays a significant role in society today. While it’s okay to drink alcohol in moderation, many people abuse it. 
  • Nicotine – commonly found in vapes, cigarettes, and other tobacco products, nicotine is a highly-addictive drug that’s incredibly difficult to quit, even when used sparingly.

In addition to the drugs listed above, the National Institute on Drug Use (NIDA) considers depressants, hallucinogens, inhalants, over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs, steroids, cannabis (marijuana), and steroids as some of the most commonly used addictive drugs. 

What Causes Drug Addiction? 

When drugs enter the body, they generally overload the central nervous system with dopamine and other chemicals that impact the reward circuit in the brain. As an individual grows fond of this euphoric feeling, they tend to use the substance more and more. This reduces tolerance and increases dependency. 

As tolerance goes down, individuals must use larger amounts or take doses more often. Dependency rises, and addiction settles in. By this point, even those that want to quit will have a hard time doing so. An individual’s genetics, environment, and upbringing can also factor in.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Withdrawal?

It’s very common for individuals to experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit an addictive or harmful substance. When the body becomes dependent on a particular substance, doing away with that substance will likely upset the body and result in a variety of symptoms.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of withdrawal:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Muscle pain, bone pain
  • Shaking, shivering, and restlessness
  • Excessive sweating, chills, high temperature
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, insomnia, and vivid dreams
  • Heart palpitations, headaches, and flu symptoms
  • Depression, anxiety, panic attacks
  • Confusion, paranoia, irritability, and agitation
  • Short-term memory loss, difficulty focusing, and intense cravings

Withdrawal symptoms are one of the main reasons people find it difficult to quit using addictive drugs and substances. They often overwhelm the individual to the point where they decide they’re better off using again. If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. 

How to Find the Best Drug Addiction Treatment Programs Near Me

Every day, people worldwide are struggling with drug addiction, which results in hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. People need help, and they need it right now. Unfortunately, most people don’t know where or how to get the help they so desperately need.

At Thrive Treatment, we take an evidence-based and human approach to drug addiction treatment in Santa Monica, CA. We understand the stark reality that surrounds highly addictive drugs, and we’re dedicated to ensuring our patients have the resources they need to overcome drug addiction. 
If you’d like to learn more about our program or how we can help you develop healthy habits on a daily basis, please don’t hesitate to contact Thrive Treatment today.

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