Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Is The Least Addictive Drug

Comparison: David Nutts Research Vs Dutch Findings

The Most and Least Addictive Drugs | PKA

There are several similarities and differences between the initial research conducted by David Nutt and that brought forth in the alleged Dutch study. Both agree on the most addictive drug, but other rankings differ slightly. The Dutch study seemed to get into more specifics, whereas the original focused more on general classifications.

Similarities: Both David Nutt and the Dutch study seem to agree that the most addictive drug of all is heroin. If we are generalizing, both do find various forms of cocaine to be the second most addicting, and nicotine to rank third on the addiction scale.

Differences: The studies differ in various drug rankings and ratings. The Dutch study seems to have standard forms of cocaine ranking lower on the scale than alcohol. Additionally in the Nutt study, specific formulations of drugs such as crystal meth or crack cocaine are not mentioned. One striking difference was the mention of GHB in the newer study as being ranked #10 and in the older Nutt study, being among the least addictive drugs. Since theres no formal citation for this newer research, I gave more weight to the published study by Nutt.

Henningfield Ratings

Least Addictive Drugs List

The least addictive drugs are ones that provide the user with minimal or no pleasure, and have low ratings of psychological and physical dependence. If we wanted to get technical, we could say that something simple like Tylenol is the least addictive drug and list various antibiotics. Im sure there are plenty of prescription drugs that arent addictive at all. However, those arent the drugs people want to hear about people already know they arent habit forming.

The drugs that people want to read about are illicit drugs like heroin and controlled substances like benzodiazepines. The ratings of the least addictive drugs below do not take into account all drugs, they are simply the least addictive based on ratings of 20 illicit drugs. This isnt to say that these drugs arent addictive, but they are on the bottom half of the rankings.

The Most Addictive Drugs

There are many types of drugs available, both legal and illegal, that can get you hooked quickly. You try it once and you keep using it day after day, sometimes many times throughout the day so you can get your fix. There are many drugs on the market or the street that contain addictive properties that mess with your brains functioning. When you use a drug repeatedly, your brain makes changes to its functioning. It starts to counter more and more of the good feeling your body gets after taking a certain drug.

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Statistics On Tobacco Addiction And Abuse

In most states, anyone over the age of 18 can easily purchase a box of cigarettes. Although cigarettes are legal and accessible, they cause a variety of fatal health conditions and they are also addictive.

  • About 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes.
  • The percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes has decreased from 21% in 2005 to 14% in 2017.
  • About 16% of American men and about 12% of American women smoke cigarettes.
  • People who are disabled, live below the poverty line, or lack a college education are more likely to smoke cigarettes.
  • In 2017, about 604,000 Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 and about 1.2 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 smoked their first cigarette.
  • Smoking cigarettes is the cause of over 480,000 deaths every year in the United States.

What Is Considered Addiction

Whatâs the Most Addictive Drug vs. the Most Dangerous Drug ...

First, we should clearly establish what addiction actually is. To properly define it, we turn to the Holy Grail of diagnostic criteria, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM for short. In it, you will find everything youd ever want to know about mental health and substance use disorders.

The American Psychiatric Association publishes this manual, now in its fifth edition, and outlines addiction in terms of patterns of substance abuse related behaviors that fall into the following four categories:1

  • Impaired control: you experience physical cravings and overwhelming urges to use your attempts to cut down or stop use altogether fails despite a strong desire to do so.
  • Social problems: significant problems at home, school, or work, including relationship problems you stop doing activities you usually enjoy in order to use the substance.
  • Risky use: you place yourself in settings or situations that could be or are dangerous just so you can continue to use.
  • Drug effects: you experience physical signs of dependence, including needing more of the substance to achieve the same high as when you started you experience physical withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using .
  • If you can check off something from each of these categories, then you meet the criteria for a moderate substance use disorder in more common parlance, an addiction to your substance of choice.

    Now lets explore which drugs may be the most addictive.

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    Statistics On Methamphetamine Addiction And Abuse

    Methamphetamine, which is commonly called Meth, is a controlled substance which has a high potential for abuse, overdose, and addiction. As an illegal drug, Meth is usually sold as Crystal to be burned and smoked. Meth is highly addictive and dangerous for a persons health.

    • About 774,000 Americans are regular Meth users. About 16,000 of them are between the ages of 12 and 17.
    • About 10,000 Americans who regularly used Meth suffered a fatal overdose in 2017.
    • About 964,000 Americans are addicted to Meth.
    • In 2017, about 195,000 Americans used Meth for the first time.
    • The number of fatal Meth overdoses almost tripled from 2011 to 2016.

    The 5 Most Addictive Drugs And How You Can Get Help

    According to 2019 Department of Health and Human Services data, about 20 million Americans live with a drug or alcohol addiction. In the past month:

    • 35.8 million people used an illegal drug
    • 140 million people drank alcohol
    • 45.9 million people smoked cigarettes

    Addiction is a compulsive need to use a substance despite the consequences, and there are some drugs that could be more addictive than others.

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    The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs

    There are a variety of dangerous drugs in the world and the addictive levels of each vary wildly. Some are relatively non-addictive, while others cause addiction very quickly. Understanding the most addictive substances available can help you understand whether you or someone you love is at high risk for addiction. While drug use of any kind is typically dangerous and potentially addicting, these substances are the most problematic.

    Finding Treatment For Illicit Drug Abuse

    Addiction (Kurzgesagt Archived video)

    There are hundreds of drug and alcohol rehab centers around the country, and though many focus on alcohol and opioids, there are still a good number that treat patients who are addicted to substances on this list of illegal drugs. Get in touch with one of our treatment specialists today to find a drug rehab facility which meets your individual needs.

    Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff

    Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

    These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Overview of Alcohol Consumption

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    Statistics On Opioid Addiction And Abuse

    Opioids are a class of drugs which block sensations of pain and cause euphoria. They are dangerous because they pose very high risks for addiction and overdose. Opioids are an ingredient in many pain-relieving medications. Since they are controlled substances, drug traffickers also sell them illegally. Opioids, both illegal and prescribed, have caused a surge of deaths in the United States in the past 2 decades.

    • About 130 Americans die every day from an Opioid overdose.
    • From 1999 to 2017, 399,230 Americans lost their lives to Opioids.
    • In 2017 alone, 47,600 fatal overdoses occurred in America which involved at least 1 Opioid.
    • In 2017, doctors issued 191,218,272 Opioid prescriptions, a slight decline from the 200,000,000 Opioid prescriptions which they issued every year from 2006 to 2016.
    • Since 1999, the sale of Opioid painkillers has skyrocketed by 300%.
    • About 20% to 30% of people who take prescription Opioids misuse them.
    • 2 million Americans misused prescription Opioids for the first time in 2017.
    • About 10% of people who misuse prescription Opioids become addicted to Opioids.
    • Approximately 2.1 million Americans have an Opioid use disorder.
    • About 5% of people with an Opioid use disorder will try Heroin.

    Meth As An Amphetamine

    Theyre structurally different compounds, however. Meth breaks down to form amphetamine when the body metabolizes it. Methamphetamine is a more potent high and also more addictive. While amphetamine is not as addictive as meth, it still has its risks.

    Like other types of addictions, they are caused by body or brain dependency. Amphetamines pass through the blood-brain barrier and affect the central nervous system. It changes brain signaling and neurotransmitters are all affected. It affects the brains reward circuitry which can cause addiction. The person will feel a heightened sense of mental wellness. They will have more confidence and think more quickly. Many university students will abuse drugs like this so they can focus better and stay up late into the night.

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    Most Addictive Drugs: List Of Commonly Abused Substances

    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health said that there are 19.7 million American adults who battled substance use disorder in 2017. The latest count states that the number of Americans with at least one addiction has risen to 21 million, but only 10% of them get treatment.

    Drug addiction is not something to be taken lightly. Millions have died of overdose and abuse of harmful substances. If you fear that a loved one may be suffering from addiction, it will pay to know more about the most addictive drugs, the symptoms of use, and the consequences of getting addicted to them.

    Most Addictive Drugs: The Basis Of Our Ranking Most Addictive Drugs

    The Top 10 Most Addicting Drugs

    Our list is based on information gleaned from two different studies. The first was published in The Lancet in 2007, from a team headed by British psychiatrist David Nutt. The idea was to create a system for assessing the addictive level of various types of drugs. Three different aspects were measured, including physical dependence, psychological dependence, and pleasure generated by the drug.

    The findings of this study were somewhat controversial because it was found that alcohol and nicotine, two legal and commonly accepted substances, were more addictive than ecstasy. Various newspapers in his homeland and the public ridiculed the studies and called for Nutt to resign.

    Though he didnt resign, the controversy led to him being fired and another study was allegedly undertaken to confirm the truth of his hypothesis. This study has been reported to agree with Nutts findings, though no online publication of the study has been found.

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    Mental Health Treatment Center In Ma

    Anxiety is a frustrating and sometimes scary condition to experience. Fortunately, theres plenty of help available! The best course of treatment for you may involve non-addictive anxiety medication, therapy, or both. You might also need to try a few non-addictive anxiety medications before finding what works best for you. Dont be afraid to talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding addiction. He or she will work with you to create a treatment plan thats both effective and provides you much-needed peace of mind.

    Programs at Washburn House for mental health disorders include:

    Cocaine / Crack Cocaine

    • Addiction rating: 2.39 In the newer Dutch study, they specifically examined crack cocaine, and found its addictive properties to be greater than standard forms such as powder cocaine. Their rating specifically for crack cocaine was 2.82.

    Crack cocaine refers to the form of freebase cocaine that is often smoked. Smoking crack cocaine allows the drug to be delivered to the brain quicker than snorting or other forms of administration. The effect of crack cocaine is considered similar to that of standard cocaine, but it gets you higher quicker compared to standard forms of cocaine almost like drinking vodka as opposed to beer to get drunk the effect is achieved quicker with crack.

    Cocaine gives the user an intense high that is characterized by euphoria and stimulant effects on the central nervous system. Those who smoke crack are likely to feel increased social confidence, energetic, more alert, and in some cases, as if they are on top of the world. These effects are achieved by the drug acting as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, particularly via blocking the dopamine transporter.

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    Addiction Never Has To Be The Final Answer

    These drugs are highly used and are some of the hardest addictions to kick, but that does not mean that it is impossible to quit. All of the most common addictions discussed in this list can be overcome with proper professional treatment.

    Drug and alcohol rehab represent a hope for the future, no matter which of these worst addictions to overcome you are dealing with. You are given the support you need and therapy to help you gain a greater understanding of your addiction. You may choose to go with inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment. Either way, youll be given the best chance of full recovery when you get professional addiction help.

    It doesnt matter if you are dealing with one of the hardest prescription drugs to quit or another one of the most addictive drugs we brought up here. Addiction treatment is the answer to getting you free from the negative effects of drugs and alcohol.

    If you still have questions about our list of the top 10 hardest addictions to kick, or about our approach to drug and alcohol rehab, do not hesitate to call us directly at 281-5588.

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    Mark Shepperd, managing director of public health for substance misuse charity Turning Point, told The Independent: Misuse of drugs of any type can be damaging to health and have a devastating impact on someones family life, their work and on wider society.

    “Services set up to deal with substance misuse must be flexible enough to take account of the needs of individuals and changing trends. They must also be able to support groups of drug users that wouldnt typically think to go to a drug service, for example those affected by club drugs.

    “We must also remember that people do recover if they are given the right help and treatment. It’s vital that support is provided within communities so as to prevent a substance misuse issue escalating and to break down the stigma associated with seeking help.”

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    Drug Classifications Based On Chemical Makeup


    Alcohol is the most widely abused substance across most of the world, including in the United States. Legal to some extent in all 50 states, alcohol impacts numerous body systems and causes a host of effects in the user. Alcohol creates feelings of euphoria and lowers inhibitions, but it also severely impairs judgment, perception, and reaction times. Alcohol is a Central Nervous System Depressant, but it causes the most severe long-term damage to the liver. There are many forms of alcohol, including:

    • Beer
    • Liquor


    Also called Opiates, Opioids are either derived from the drug Opium or from chemicals designed to mimic it. Opioids work by acting on receptors in the brain, sometimes by mimicking the effects of neurotransmitters. This can enable Opioids to serve as powerful pain killers, but also can cause feelings of intense pleasure and lead to addiction. Opioid addiction is one of the most serious problems faced by America today. Opioids are some of the most addictive of all known substances, and they are also some of the deadliest. Some of the most well-known opioids include:


    • Hashish


    Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.

    Top 10 Hardest Addictions To Kick

    Different drugs, whether prescription medications or illegal substances can all elicit a wide range of sensations for its users. From relaxed, calming moods, to high energy and feelings of euphoria, most drugs can create a false sense of security. Users may feel empowered with these substances, which can quickly lead them to overuse, abuse, or even addiction. But are there substances that are more prone to abuse and addiction? In this article, were discussing some of the most common drugs and the hardest addictions to kick.

    Mood regulation, memory, willpower, and decision-making processes can be severely impacted by these common drugs. And once drug dependency is formed, it can be incredibly difficult or impossible to safely refrain from continued use.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with misuse, overuse, or addiction of any substance including alcohol and prescription medications, its important to contact a professional that can offer compassionate support and effective methodology for safely detoxing. AspenRidge Recovery in Colorado treats a wide range of addictions and offers a dual-diagnosis approach to help clients through the traumatic experiences that may have contributed to the addiction.

    Contact us directly at for more information on recovery centers in: Lakewood , Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Online Treatment options.

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