What Are The Worst Drugs
Many of the most dangerous drugs in the world are also illegal, but some prescription medications can be extremely harmful when misused as well. These drugs range from stimulants that cause a spike in energy to depressants that bring the body into a tranquil state. Many drugs classified as opioids, both illegal ones and prescription medications, are included in this list.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases the number of overdose deaths caused in the United States by each drug class.
- Opioids have caused more than 61,000 deaths. Of these, more than 14,000 deaths were due to heroin.
- Non-cocaine psychostimulants like methamphetamine, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths
- Stimulants, including cocaine, were responsible for more than 18,000 deaths.
These are not the only dangerous drug classes, though. Many prescription and illicit drugs are easily accessible and dangerous. Everyone should be aware of them for their own safety and that of their loved ones.
Ultimately The Most Dangerous Drug Is The One That Captures An Individual
In the end, the drug that is the most dangers is the one that ensnares that individual. For some people, its meth. For others, its alcohol.
When it comes to addiction, one size doesnt fit all. Even the most addictive drugs might not be addictive to some people. What captures and takes down one person wont necessarily take down someone else.
There are numerous examples throughout history of people who have tried certain drugs and became addicted right away. When their friends tried the same drugs, some mightve become addicted, while still others were able to try it and walk away.
For example, back in 2004, Paul McCartney was interviewed about his and The Beatles drug use. In that interview, he stated that heroine a highly addictive drug thats also considered one of the most dangerous drugs simply gave him no thrills.
It all has to do with a persons brain chemistry, the way in which they were raised, physical/emotional/mental trauma sustained in their life, and the environment in which they live.
All of that has a bearing not only on whether addictive behaviors develop, but also what type of drug will be more appealing to each individual.
What Do Opioids Do
This stuff acts fast! Heroin and other opioids produce intense feelings of euphoria. Pain is also quickly relieved. It typically produces a mellow high. It causes a rush of pleasure. It can really get a stranglehold on you.
Opioids also provide a relaxing feeling. These drugs give the user a temporary escape from reality. It quickly hits the brain, turns into morphine, and mimics endorphins. The bodys already wired to feel good from this substance. The American Society of Addiction Medicine says 25% of heroin users become addicted. Over 500,000 Americans suffer from heroin addiction. Another 2 million habitually abuse prescription opioids.
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Hardest Drugs To Quit
Controlled substances are often very hard to quit. This is because people who become dependent on them will suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These uncomfortable effects can deter people from entering recovery, and many will continue to use a substance just to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Further, controlled substances can cause dependence and lead to addiction.
Controlled substances include common street drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. They also include prescription medications such as Codeine, OxyContin, Valium and Xanax.
The government tracks how many people use illicit controlled substances. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among U.S. Americans:
- About 46.2% of people have used cannabis
- Around 16.0% of people have used hallucinogens
- More than 15% of people have used cocaine, including 3.4% of people who have used crack cocaine
- More than 9% of people have used inhalants
- Approximately 5.8% of people have used methamphetamine
- About 2.1% of people have used heroin
Process Addictions: Gambling Sex And Food May Not Make The Hardest Drugs List But They Are Among The Worst Addictions In America
While most forms of addiction are usually accompanied by withdrawal symptoms, this is not always the case. Behavior addictions can have all of the psychological and social consequences of addiction without exhibiting any physical symptoms of dependence at all.
Some of the most common process addictions include psychological dependence on gambling, sex, gaming, food, and even shopping. Gambling and shopping can actually raise levels of dopamine which is the exact thing that substances do.
We all engage in many different behaviors throughout our day. Some of our behaviors are life improvements. Eating is something we need to do and yet food addiction is something unhealthy and debilitating. Those with a food addiction will eat even when theyre not hungry and binge eat. They are wreaking havoc on their health but they have no control to stop. This impulsive type of behavior can contribute to physical and mental health issues.
We have chosen to include this form of addiction in our list of the hardest addictions for two reasons. First, people may be unable to stop the behavior even after facing negative consequences and, second, because the need for treatment for this form of addiction often goes unrecognized.
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How Can You Keep Your Baby Safe From Street Drugs
The best way to keep your baby safe from street drugs is to avoid them! Dont use street drugs. Talk to your health care provider. He can help you get treatment to help you quit.
If you used heroin or the prescription drugs called opioids, dont stop taking them without getting treatment from your health care provider first. Quitting suddenly can cause severe problems for your baby, including death. Your health care provider or a drug treatment center can treat you with drugs like methadone or buprenorphine. These drugs can help you gradually reduce your dependence on opioids and heroin in a way thats safe for you and your baby.
The Top 15 Most Dangerous Drugs
Drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In fact, more Americans die of drug overdoses than in car accidents each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a reportthat reviewed the drugs and drug mixtures most frequently involved in overdose deaths. Among drug overdose deaths during 20112016, the 10 most frequently mentioned drugs included Fentanyl, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Cocaine, Methamphetamine,Alprazolam, and Diazepam. Although not mentioned in the CDC report, alcohol makes its way on the list of most dangerous substances as excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the US. Nicotine, Synthetic Cannabinoids, MDMA, and Ketamine are also listed due to their dangerous health effects and risk of abuse.
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Here are the top 15:
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Alcohol Is The Number 1 Addiction In The Us
One of the hardest addictions to kick is none other than alcohol. In fact, an estimated 30 percent of Americans have suffered from an alcohol use disorder in the past. Thats close to 100 million people. In 2010, nearly 18 million Americans were classified as being addicted to alcohol. Alcohol is the number one choice when it comes to substances of abuse and addiction. Not that anyone would choose addiction but when millions of people are abusing it, it becomes a common addiction.
Not many people may think of alcohol as a particularly dangerous drug, but given the level of addiction in the US and its withdrawal effects, it is safe to say that alcohol is one of the worst or hardest addictions to kick. Despite the fact that nearly 10 people will die every hour due to alcohol-related causes, how is it that there are so many alcoholics?
Why is alcohol so addictive? Alcohol affects the brain. It is the ethanol within alcohol that causes chemical reactions in the brain. When alcohol is chronically abused, it will change the way the brain functions. It will begin to require the substance to feel normal. It is the chemicals in the brain that send messages which are affected. They are neurotransmitters, which tell the body what to do. Inhibitory neurotransmitters will help calm the brain down. It makes a person feel balanced and at ease.
Alcohol affects certain neurotransmitters that create addiction. They include:
Find The Help You Or A Loved One Needs
If you or someone you know struggles with an addiction to an illicit or prescription drug, help is available. Rehabilitation centers, such as The Recovery Village, have the staff and resources available to help people who are struggling with a substance use disorder. Many people die each year from illicit and prescription drug use, but many others have also successfully removed drug use from their lives. to speak with a knowledgeable representative on which treatment plan is the best fit for you or your loved one.
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What Constitutes Drug Addiction
What exactly is drug addiction? Substance addiction is based on the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. In this book, substance addiction is listed as a disorder relating to one or more of a certain class of drugs, namely:
- Other or unknown substances
Next is the criteria for the addiction label, of which there are 11.
The Impact Of Quitting
Those who come off of cocaine feel like theyre thinking slowly. They get hungry. Some go through a period where they lose interest in sex. They feel exhausted, pain, and tired. Deaths related to cocaine withdrawal are rare. But individuals can experience bouts of paranoia. This can lead to attempts at suicide or acts of violence. Heart attacks are also possible.
Some people experience a honeymoon stage. For a few days, you may feel fine and believe that youve kicked the habit. But strong cravings come to burden you again. Within the next week or two, the cravings come back hard as the brain adapts to life without cocaine.
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Dependence On Prescription Painkillers Is One Of The Most Common Addictions In America
There is no question about it: Americans are becoming increasingly addicted to prescription drugs. Prescription painkillers are included in this list of the top 10 worst drug addictions for several different reasons:
- There is growing social acceptability for using prescription painkillers.
- The vast majority of prescription opioids can be used to get high.
- Drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin can both create a sense of wellbeing and cause withdrawal symptoms two hallmarks of drug abuse.
- Opioid painkiller has risen by 300%.
The increase of opioid prescriptions written is believed to play a major factor when it comes to addiction to opioids. Prescription pain relievers became the gateway drug to heroin which has caused a 45% increase in heroin deaths. The likes of Vicodin, Percocet, and codeine have the same effect as heroin. When a prescription is cut off from a person, they may turn to the streets to get heroin which is cheaper and easier to obtain.
The same effects that heroin has on the brain and body exist with prescription opioid painkillers. There is an intense high which varies depending on how the drug is taken. Prescription painkillers can be injected and snorted as people may abuse them. Opiates affect the opioid receptors in the brain. This gives them a variety of side effects.
Benzodiazepines Are One Of The Worst Prescription Drugs For Addiction
As a sedative drug, benzodiazepines are one of the most dangerous prescription drugs to abuse. When used to self-medicate for anxiety or sleep, this class of drugs is highly addictive.
With over 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety and stress disorders, its no wonder that the benzos are one of the most common addictions. People facing clinical anxiety, stress, and panic attacks will often be prescribed benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax. There are actually over 15 different kinds of benzodiazepine medications used for different medical purposes. This may also be an indication of why its so common for addiction.
They are used for anxiety, muscle relaxant, mild memory loss, and anti-seizure medication. There are also benzos that come in smaller doses for sleep disorders. No benzodiazepine should be used for a long time due to the high risk of addiction.
Benzodiazepines create surges of dopamine in the brain which causes a change in the dopamine-producing cells in the body. It is the pleasurable effects of these drugs that cause dependency.
Benzodiazepine use will deteriorate cells that rein in the flooding of dopamine. The temporary surges of dopamine can cause even great dopamine surges. Researchers believe that benzodiazepines will build up in the body. They begin to alter the structure and function of brain receptors. It creates excitable surges and can make the dopamine rushes more intense.
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What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction
The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.
Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
What Drugs Are The Most Dangerous
While all drugs can be dangerous, especially illegal drugs or drugs that are used without a prescription, some are more dangerous than others. Drug-related deaths are on the rise across the United States, and every year tens of thousands of Americans die from drug-related causes. Some drugs can be deadly after a single dose, while others cause death only after extended use. Here are the drugs.
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Whats Opioid Withdrawal Like
Opioids have nasty withdrawal symptoms. In many ways, theyre the worst drugs to quit. To keep feeling good, people have to take more. Without another hit, withdrawal starts about 12 hours from the last dose. Withdrawal reaches its peak within a day or two.
Withdrawal feels like a bad case of the flu. A very bad case. Users experience the shakes, the sweats, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Oh, and muscle aches, headaches, insomnia, runny nose, dehydration. It can leave you in a hopeless panic. One may experience erratic emotions, depression, anxiety, irritability, and mental haze.
What Can Help Opioid Withdrawal
Working with a medical detox professional can empower someone who wants to quit. This is not a time for pride or embarrassment. Its possible to go into respiratory arrest. Its not going to be easy to beat this habit. Do it safely. Opioid detox usually involves a prescription of buprenorphine or methadone. These drugs fill the opioid receptors, but they have a lesser effect for a longer period of time.
Some take anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants to help with the psychologic withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine can lower some of the heightened functions of the nervous system. It can manage blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Its also important to get a physical exam when quitting opiates. Use of the drug can lead to diseases and other conditions. Many heroin users share needles and are at risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV.
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The Gateway Into Addiction
Like cocaine withdrawal, quitting crystal meth also has a honeymoon stage. Stage 2. You may feel great. And you may feel that youve shattered the addiction. Unfortunately, this feeling can result in relapses. You havent overcome your addiction yet. Then youll hit the wall.
Stage 3. The honeymoon is over now and you feel like youll never get past the wall. You feel depressed, bored, and lonely. You cant leap over it. You cant crawl under it. This stage happens about 45 days after quitting. And it can last for up to three months! Again, relapses are common here. If you make it past this stage, youre on to Stage 4. The adjustment phase.
You must now adjust socially, physically, and emotionally to sobriety. Its time for a revolution. Stage 5, the last, is the ongoing recovery. Youve achieved success. Multiple attempts are often necessary to get to this stage. But once here, you have a better chance of continuing a fulfilling life of sobriety.