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.
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.
Stopping The Use Of Barbiturates Cold Turkey
Barbiturates were once extremely popular, and while people do not use them as much today, there are people who continue to take them. Most of them have been taking them for years for various reasons.
Stopping the use of barbiturates abruptly should never be considered. Doing so can lead to a long list of withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Feeling nauseous with or without vomiting.
- A high fever.
- Circulatory failure.
- Delirium tremens .
It is also possible for people to die as a result of barbiturate withdrawal. Knowing the risks is important, and anyone who takes these drugs should be aware of what can happen if they choose to stop cold turkey. It is a much better idea to quit by going through professional treatment.
Stopping Smoking Cigarettes Cold Turkey
Just about the only drug that many experts recommend quitting cold turkey is nicotine. They claim that any other method of quitting is likely only to result in a relapse. Relapsing on nicotine can make it even harder to quit in the future.
Of course, quitting cigarettes cold turkey does result in withdrawal symptoms, which can be hard to deal with. Some of the more common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:
- An increase in appetite, which can result in weight gain.
- A down or depressed feeling.
- Problems with sleeping at night.
- A jittery, shaky feeling.
- The onset of nausea.
- Feelings of restlessness.
Health.com offers some helpful tips that can assist people in quitting their use of cigarettes, even if they choose to stop smoking cold turkey. They recommend:
It is so easy to get discouraged when it comes to quitting cigarettes cold turkey. Relapses are common, but it is important to keep trying. It can help to make a list of all the reasons for quitting and keep that list on hand.
Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it’s completely attainable.
For a FREE & confidential assessment
Are You In Need Of Substance Abuse Treatment
Do not allow your addiction to define you any longer. At Sunlight Recovery, we will show you how to obtain a fresh start for your life and guide you along your journey to recovery. If you or a loved one are suffering with an addiction, choose life today and contact us at 855-625-6684. Our compassionate team of counselors are standing by 24/7 to take your call.
Don’t Miss: How To Help An Addict In Denial
Hardest Drugs To Quit
Once an addiction has formed to a substance, it becomes incredibly hard to quit on ones own. This is especially true of certain drugs that cause uncomfortable, painful, and occasionally life-threatening side effects. For these substances, it is always recommended that an addict attends a medically assisted detox to safely and comfortably remove the substance from their system.
Addictive substances that have bad withdrawal symptoms:
How Drug Addiction Works
Research has shown that drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disease with genetic and environmental causes. Although choosing to use a drug is a choice, the disease of addiction is not.
Once someone abuses a mind-altering drug like methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine, it begins to change the structure and functions of the brain, keeping the user coming back for more, despite the drugs negative side effects. As these brain changes occur, the person will begin to develop behaviors that signal something is wrong, such as:
- Being unable to control his or her drug use
- Trying to stop using but being unable to
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when unable to use
- Continuing to use drugs despite the negative consequences
Other behavioral signs that someone is suffering from drug addiction include:
- Severe mood swings
- Memory loss
- Issues with cognition
Although some drugs are more addictive than others, as described in this article, addiction is a treatable disease that can be managed on a long-term basis. With the right treatment and support, a person can stay sober, heal the physical damage done to their brain and body by drug abuse, and make healthy lifestyle changes to establish a sober life for themselves.
Don’t Miss: How To Support Someone With Drug Addiction
Rising Drug Trends In The Us
Painkiller and heroin addiction top the list of public safety concerns when it comes to drug abuse in the U.S. Overdose deaths related to heroin have more than quadrupled since 2010, and increased by over 20 percent from 2014 to 2015 causing nearly 13,000 deaths. Heroin addiction rates continue to rise on behalf of painkiller addiction, since this illicit opioid is easier to obtain and lower in cost than most painkillers.
The latest reports from the CDC reveal that drug overdose deaths are increasing along the east coast in states including Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Opioid overdose deaths are also rising steeply in Ohio, which saw a 25 percent increase in deaths from 2015 to 2016.
Many heroin and opioid overdose deaths are being driven by potent painkillers fentanyl and carfentanil. Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than morphine, while carfentanil an illegal opioid used to tranquilize large animals is up to 10,000 stronger than morphine. Heroin dealers are mixing fentanyl and carfentanil into batches of heroin to stretch their heroin supplies, which is leading thousands of unknowing victims to their deaths.
Cocaine use in the U.S. has declined sharply in recent years, dropping from 2.4 million users in 2007 to 1.5 million users in 2013. However, methamphetamine use is on the rise, and has increased in use by a whopping 40 percent from 2010 to 2013.
The 5 Most Addictive Drugs And Their Effects
The most addictive drugs all have one quality in common: they provide pleasurable effects to the brain. This activates the reward center and keeps the user wanting more. Unfortunately, drug ddiction is quickly becoming one of the worst problems in the United States, leading to countless deaths every year. Knowing which drugs are the most addictive and what causes them to be so alluring is a useful tool in the battle against addiction.
While this list includes some of the most dangerous drugs, there are also some seemingly innocuous ones on the list as well. Several factors are involved in determining what makes these drugs so addictive including the effects on the brain, effects on the body, and how readily available it is to users. However, all of these drugs are highly addictive and can lead to dependency.
Read Also: How To Break Any Addiction
The 5 Most Addictive Drugs Known To Man
When determining which drugs are most addictive it is necessary to have a definition of addictive. Dependence is what most people think of when they consider addiction but they may also think of the harm that is done by the drugs. Other factors such as withdrawal and intoxication also play a role in determining which drugs are the most addictive.
Surprisingly, the most addictive drug in the world is not illegal. Nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, turns 30 percent of casual users into addicts. This is a higher rate than any other drug including cocaine and heroin. The regular use of nicotine reduces the production of natural brain chemicals which then creates a situation where users must keep using in order to keep their brain functioning normally.
It is extremely difficult to quit using tobacco products and there are many health problems associated with long-term use. Although nicotine produces minimal intoxication, it creates a strong dependence and is extremely detrimental to the health of users. At least one in five deaths in the U.S. can be linked to smoking.
Heroin is what many people think of when they consider dangerous drugs. As many as 25 percent of casual heroin users will become addicted to the drug and it is notoriously difficult to stop using. Methadone clinics exist even though methadone itself is an addictive and potentially dangerous substance because stopping heroin use cold turkey is impossible for most people.
Breaking The Cycle Of Addiction
Untreated addiction destroys lives and leads to many devastating consequences. For some users, the progression of addiction ultimately leads to death.
When a person has become addicted to a substance, they continue to use the substance in spite of negative consequences, and in most cases they are unable to quit on their own. A variety of treatment options are available. For many people, the best way to overcome substance use is in a residential treatment facility where detoxification can be medically managed and the patient can learn new methods of coping in a highly structured environment.
An alternative to inpatient treatment is intensive outpatient treatment or partial hospitalization. This is a way of attending multiple sessions of treatment every week while remaining in the home environment.
Determining which is the right method of treatment depends on several factors, including how long the individual has been using the substance, what substance has been misused, and whether there are multiple substances to overcome. If you or a loved one has become addicted to one or more mind-altering substances, talk to your doctor or to an addiction treatment professional to determine which course of treatment that is right for you.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Help Someone With Alcohol Addiction
Addictive Patterns Associated With Crystal Meth
Users quickly build up a tolerance to this drug, causing them to experience a craving for more crystal meth as they attempt to relive the high they got the first time.
But since the drug releases so much dopamine into the brain, this can cause both dopamine and serotonin levels to deplete over prolonged use and change the brain structure. Eventually, the user may require a dosage of the drug just to function as normal.
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
Pain Pills: Predecessors To Heroin
Prescription opioids are highly addictive in the cruelest of ways. People become addicted to these medications usually after being prescribed them for pain from an injury or surgery. For years, doctors prescribed these most addictive substances irresponsibly.
Now we have a national opioid epidemic. Those who started on prescription opioids have progressed to heroin. Most people prescribed the pain medications misuse them, and about 10 percent develop opioid use disorder. Half of those go on to use heroin.
Heroin slows your breathing and your heart rate and can result in cardiac arrest. Warning signs of overdose are bluish lips or extremities and a gurgling sound while breathing. Over time, heroin addiction can lead to cardiovascular disease, a damaged liver and kidneys and other problems.
Overdosing on heroin is common and dangerous. Dosing amounts for a high and an accidental overdose are not that far apart. The United States government is trying to combat heroin deaths by making the drug Narcan widely available. Narcan can bring a person experiencing overdose back from the brink.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 80 percent of people who use heroin first tried prescription opioids.
Opioid addiction is not anyones fault. For most who are addicted, what started as an escape from pain has become a daily cycle of addiction and using to keep from becoming sick.
Alcohol And Drug Addiction Treatment At Serenity At Summit
If you or loved one is struggling with an addiction to an illegal or legal drug , get help right away from Serenity, a network of inpatient, detox and outpatient facilities in the Northeast.
Serenity currently boasts exceptional treatment facilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Our staff is skilled and experienced in treating the effects of almost any type of drug available, legal or illegal, prescription or non-prescription.
With detox, inpatient, outpatient, co-occurring and after care options, weve got the appropriate treatment level you or a loved one needs to begin and maintain a recovery from addiction. Call Serenity today to begin customizing a treatment program, or click below to learn more about our treatment processes.
Don’t Miss: What Am I Addicted To
Traits Of The Most Addictive Drug
The most addictive drug depends on three main factors. They include:
- The Intensity of Pleasure: The initial effect determines the intensity of pleasure upon consumption and the subsequent euphoria. Drugs with a high pleasure intensity are highly addictive and commonly abused.
- Psychological Dependence: Psychological dependence on a drug is determined by repeated use of the drug, being afraid to stop, and continued use despite adverse effects. Highly addictive drugs have a high rate of psychological dependence.
- Physical Dependence: Physical dependence on a drug is characterized by cravings, increased tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms.
What Is The Most Addictive Drug
Before getting in the weeds, pun intended, its important to define addiction.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine
Addiction is a chronic disease of brain circuitry that involves reward, motivation and memory. It is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain from a substance and, like other chronic illnesses, involves cycles of relapse and remission.
In order to rank the most addictive drugs, there has to be a set of agreed upon conditions from which a score can be totaled.
Two physicians, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal Benowitz of the University of California, San Francisco, created a scale of sorts for this exact purpose.
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:
Finding Treatment For Drug Abuse
There is hope for anyone who suffers from addiction. What is the most addictive substance? We can help with that information.
BriteLife Recovery is a safe space to address the underlying reasons that lead you to use drugs.
We can help you stop using drugs.
We can help you determine the most addictive substance on earth to steer clear from or help recover from.
At every step of the way, from withdrawal to aftercare, we will support you. Our programs are tailor-designed to address your specific use.
You do not have to be alone in your drug addiction battle.
Reaching out for support is the first step to recovery.
The stigma of drug addiction can be challenging to overcome, and BriteLife Recovery understands these harmful stereotypes.
If you have lost family and friends due to your drug addiction, now is the time to reach out for treatment.
We will help you build a supportive circle and encourage your recovery at every step. Staying sober is a choice you must make.
Most insurance companies today provide care and treatment for drug addiction.
Our insurance verification program gives you instant feedback regarding your insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment.
We will even reach out on your behalf to ensure that you can find treatment to break free from the addiction cycle.
Read Also: Can You Become Addicted To Xanax