Most Addictive Substances Around The World
A recent article on CNN.com brought up an interesting question: What are the most addictive substances? Of course, the answer is far from simple and varies according to the points of view of different addiction experts and researchers, some who even say that no drug is always addictive. The potential for a drug to be addictive was based on several factors including:
- The harm it causes
- The street value of the drug
- The extent to which the drug activates the brainâs dopamine system
- The degree to which the drug causes symptoms of withdrawal
- How easily a person trying the drug can become hooked
- Whether the drug is snorted, injected or smoked
Based on these and other factors, an expert of panels identified the top five addictive drugs. Here is the summary of the results:
Most Addictive Drugs: The Basis Of Our Ranking Most Addictive 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.
A Totally Legal Very Addictive Drug
Nicotine, the main active ingredient in cigarettes, e-cigs, and vapes, is legal and sold in grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, and countless other locations and is very addictive. Yet, although people smoke cigarettes or vape every day several times a day, even many do not consider nicotine a drug.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2014, 16.8% of all adults in the United States, or 40 million people, smoked cigarettes. 2 Smokeless tobacco usage in the U.S. in 2012 was 3.6% in adults, or about 4 in every 100 people.3 Obviously a very popular, legal drug, nicotine is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States, yet it is the most preventable cause of death.2
So why are so many people addicted to something they know can kill them?
Nicotine goes straight to your brain and acts on its reward pathways by manipulating the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is released when you smoke and makes you feel good, relaxed, and is responsible for making you want to continue smoking.
Once nicotine dependence has set in, after you stop smoking, you may feel depressed, tired, and anxious, which are typically feelings youd like to avoid. So you continue to smoke to feel better. Over time, this is how addiction evolves.
Some negative side effects of smoking include:4
You May Like: How To Help Someone With Alcohol Addiction
Also Check: How To Stop Your Addiction To Food
How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To A Drug
The length of time that it may take to get addicted to drugs really depends on the type of drug the person is taking. But there are other factors that can have an influence on it as well. A person who has a history of addiction to other substances or even behaviors is likely to get addicted much faster than someone who has never used a drug before.
Some drugs can cause quicker addictions than others. For example, there are experts who believe that a person can get addicted to crack cocaine after just one or two uses of the drug. Conversely, there are those who may take a highly addictive drug for a long period of time and never get addicted at all.
Addiction is very personal and everyone responds differently to substance abuse. The best plan is to not put yourself in a position where you could form a dependence on anything.
The 5 Most Addictive Substances On Earth
Addiction of any kind is likely to wreak havoc on an individuals life, but there are various substances that have qualities that make them especially hard to beat.
These substances are typically used to treat anxiety and induce sleep. Popular street names for Barbiturates include Blue Bullets, Gorillas, Nembies, Bars, and Pink Ladies. At low doses, these drugs can produce euphoria at higher doses an overdose due to suppressed breathing can result.
An estimated 14-20 million people worldwide use Cocaine, resulting in a billion-dollar industry. Cocaine reacts with the brains level of dopamine, preventing neurons from turning the feel good signal off. This results in abnormal activation of the brains reward pathways. An estimated 21% of people who try Cocaine will become addicted at some point in their lifetime.
Addiction to beer, wine, orliquor can have a very negative effect on the body and mind that is often irreversible. Studies have shown that alcohol increases the level of dopamine in the brains reward system by as much as 360%. This legalized substance has a death rate of over 3 million per year.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Behaviors Of An Addict
To Assess The Danger Of Each Drug The Scientists Looked At Three Types Of Effects
The following ranking focuses on dependency. The researchers further broke this category down into three factors that determine how addictive something is.
1. Pleasure, the euphoria a user feels on the drug psychological dependence
2. The cravings a user experiences when the drug is withdrawn
3. Physical dependence, the headaches or other physical symptoms a user experiences when the drug is withdrawn
Science Says That These Are The Five Most Addictive Substances On Earth
You may find yourself in a discussion with friends this month, trying to decide who is having the worst time of it trying to stay off the booze, off the cigarettes, or off sugar.
Well fear not science has the answer!
Professor David Nutt is a neuropsychopharmacologist currently at Imperial College London and together with his colleagues asked addiction experts to put their collective heads together to come up with a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs.
Based on the research, his team have deemed the following to be the most addictive substances on earth.
Nutts experts ranked heroin as the most addictive drug, giving it a score of 3 out of a maximum score of 3.
Heroin is an opiate that causes the level of dopamine in the brains reward system to increase by up to 200% in experimental animals.
In addition to being arguably the most addictive drug, heroin is dangerous, too, because the dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high.
Veteran Drug And Alcohol Treatment In Deland Florida
At Heroes Mile, located in DeLand, Florida, we understand that drug use among veterans is a serious issue. We also understand that many of our brave servicemen and women may find it difficult to seek help, as the issues they deal with are much more complex than what civilians may be experiencing. This can create a situation where veterans who need help struggle to find the care they need.
Thats why at Heroes Mile, we make it our mission to provide veterans with the treatment they deserve, by other veterans who know exactly where theyve been and what theyre dealing with. Our treatment facility is made for veterans and has been created by vets who know exactly what its like to serve firsthand. We understand that veterans need a place to recover where they not only feel safe but are surrounded by others who share in their life experiences.
If you or someone you know is battling a drug or alcohol addiction, the time to get help is now. If you have more questions about what the most addictive drug is, or if youd like to learn more about our treatment options, give us a call today at . You can also contact us online by using our confidential contact form. At Heroes Mile in DeLand, Florida, we make it our mission to ensure that our veterans receive the care they deserve, from people who truly appreciate their service.
for Veterans by Veterans
Top 10 Most Addictive Substances
For those struggling with substance abuse, it may seem as if there is no way out of the addiction. Some of the most addictive substances leave a persons life surrounded by the mayhem that takes away what used to make them who they were and potentially take their life.
With overdose and addiction rates rapidly increasing throughout the country, there are many treatment resources available that will aid in the process of recovery from substance dependency and provide the tools necessary to live a new life. Lets take a look at the some of the most addictive substances out there and what makes them so addictive.
Read Also: What Is The Most Addictive Substance
The Most Addictive Drugs And How To Overcome Them
September 22, 2020|Posted in Recovery Resources
There are many different addictive substances out there. These include alcohol, hard drugs, prescription medication, and even things such as caffeine that arent considered as dangerous but are still quite addictive. The type of substance abuse treatment a person needs is often determined by what substance they were using. If they were using one of the most addictive drugs out there, they are likely to need more intensive addiction treatment in Atlanta in order to overcome their addiction. Here are some of the drugs that researchers have determined are the most addictive and what people can do to overcome them.
What Is The Most Addictive Substance
What is the most addictive substance? The question may seem simple, but getting the answer depends on the person you ask.
Researchers determine the potential for drug abuse by looking at a variety of factors.
For example, it is important to look at the potential harm, street value, and drug availability.
Researchers also measure how effectively the drug activates dopamine production.
Lastly, they look at the potential withdrawal symptoms and the likelihood of relapse.
The following are 5 addictions that are the most reported drugs that are abused in the United States:
Heroin is a Schedule I drug.
It is an opiate that causes the brains reward system to increase, creating a euphoric feeling.
It is derived from the seeds of poppy plants.
Heroin abuse in the United States is a growing epidemic.
Heroin is especially dangerous due to the high potential for overdoes and death. Withdrawal from this drug is the leading cause of relapse.
Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug.
It is made from the cocoa plant found in South America.
As a street drug, cocaine is a white power substance.
Cocaine is often cut with other substances to increase yield and potency.
Contaminated cocaine contains cornstarch, talcum powder flour, and other harmful additives.
To increase the effects of the drugs, dealers will add other drugs. These drugs include amphetamines, opiates, and fentanyl. These combinations often lead to overdoes and death.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Cycle Of Addiction
Most Addictive Drug In The World: Heroin
Heroin is considered more addictive than other drugs based on addiction scales due to the fact that its extremely pleasurable, and likely to create both physical and psychological dependence. Heroin has been around since the 1870s and was created by combining the molecule morphine with acetyl groups. When a person uses heroin, it enters the body and converts into the drug morphine, giving users a significant physical and psychological high.
The difference between standard morphine and heroin is that it has a significantly higher bioavailability, crossing the blood-brain barrier quicker than morphine and thus eliciting a greater degree of intoxication. The drug itself depresses the central nervous system, slowing down heart rate, breathing, and allowing the user to experience the most potent physical and psychological high of any drug. It has an effect by binding to the mu-opioid receptors, resulting in a significant analgesic response and the release of endorphins, which trigger an unparalleled euphoria.
Using this drug alters opioid receptor functioning in the brain, and will lead to highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when discontinued. . The combination of the pleasure derived from the drug, the rapid development of tolerance, and severe withdrawals makes heroin the most addictive drug in the world.
Most Addictive Drugs #3 Methamphetamines
Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, is an addictive stimulant drug belonging to the class of drugs known as amphetamines. Crystal meth users will smoke, snort, or inject the drug. Crystal meth provides a short, intense high that leads to euphoria, a rush of energy, and a boost in confidence.
Many argue that crystal meth is the most addictive drug in the world since crystal meth is three times as powerful as cocaine. The effects of meth occur rapidly, but also fade quickly leading people to repeatedly binge on this drug and stay awake for hours or days on end.
Similar to cocaine, meth also increases dopamine in the central nervous system. Many of the most addictive drugs are so addictive because of the strong rush of dopamine they cause in the brain. Crystal meth releases more dopamine in the brain than any other drug, which causes meth to be one of the most addictive drugs.
Also Check: Can You Be Addicted To Video Games
Helping Loved Ones With Prescription Drug Addictions
Prescription drug addiction can negatively affect your health. It can also put you at risk of a fatal overdose. Drug addiction can also put a strain on your finances and relationships.
Do you suspect that someone you love is misusing prescription medications? Its important for them to get professional help. Their doctor or mental health specialist might recommend counseling. They might also refer your loved one to an intensive rehabilitation program. In some cases, they might prescribe medications to help curb drug cravings or relieve symptoms of withdrawal.
If you suspect that someone you love has a prescription drug addiction, there are ways that you can help.
For more information on drug addiction, including potential treatment options, visit these websites:
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.
Read Also: Where To Find Help For Drug Addiction
What Makes Drugs Addictive
From the medical perspective, there are various factors that are taken into account when measuring a drugs addictiveness, namely:
- Level of intoxication
- Individual circumstances and preferences
Level of Intoxication
Intoxication refers to the effects the drug produces, including the high itself, the strength of the high, and the lasting after effects. Generally speaking, the stronger the drug, the more attractive it is to users.
Reinforcement means how likely the person is to engage in repeated use. Drugs with short-lived effects, such as cocaine, encourage the user to consume more often. The more the person uses, the more likely they are to get hooked.
While anyone can build a tolerance to any drug, certain substances seem to have a greater tolerance potential than others. This ties back to reinforcement. Repeated and long-term use of a drug increases a persons tolerance. Therefore, after a while, the same dose that got them high the first time will not be enough later on.
Certain drugs have very severe withdrawal symptoms, while have little to none. Withdrawal plays a big role in addiction because a person may feel compelled to take more of a drug to relieve any discomfort caused by withdrawal.
Whats The Most Addictive Drugs In The World
Heroin is an opiate commonly used as a recreational drug because of its euphoric effect. It is occasionally used to relieve pain. It is often injected into the body through the veins but can also be smoked, snorted, and inhaled. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world about 25% of those who use it become physically dependent.
Also Check: How To Get An Addict To Stop
Process Addictions: Gambling Sex And Food Are Among The Worst Addictions
process addiction is the tendency to become addicted to the process of doing something, rather than the outcome.Its difficult to tell what causes process addictions, but there are a few factors that are believed to contribute. One is that someone may have an obsessive personality and enjoys following strict rules or rituals. Another is that they feel like theyre not able to achieve success unless they follow these steps or routines. The easiest way for someone with a process addiction to learn more about their addiction is by talking about their feelings and thoughts with a therapist.
Process addictions are more common in people who grew up in dysfunctional families. They often use these rituals or routines as a way of coping with stress and anxiety brought on by their family situation. They might also have grown up in families with high expectations for performance.
Some of the most common process addictions are psychological dependence on gambling, sex, gaming, food, and even shopping. Gambling and shopping can actually raise levels of dopamine which is comparably effective to drugs.
These are other Worst Addictions in the World:Addiction to Behavior Addition to Behaviors Addiction to Material Items