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Are you aware of the Most Addictive Drug? What you’ll find on the list may surprise you.
Drug addiction is an illness that must be addressed seriously. There are millions of people in the United States alone who are addicted to drugs in some way.
Substance abuse is the beginning of addiction. When the brain gets dependent on substance usage to raise dopamine levels in the body, what may start as a lousy habit can quickly grow into addiction.
There are millions of people who live with drug or alcohol addiction. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 31.9 million (11.7 per cent) adults over the age of 12 used illegal substances in 2018, and 20.3 million persons have a substance use disorder.
Overdoses and mortality can result from substance use disorder. Over 700,000 people have died from overdoses since 2000. Although it is suggested legislation to address the prescription opioids and heroin epidemic, the first step in truly treating and preventing substance abuse is to gain knowledge.
We can equip folks with the information to stay clear, support others who need help, or even seek help themselves by learning how the most addictive drugs function, what they look like, the risk of reliance, and where to seek help.
The most addictive drugs and chemicals to which people become addicted are classified as follows:
2.89 on the Dependency Scale
Heroin is the most addictive drug known today. Heroin is an opioid drug /narcotic derived from morphine, a naturally occurring chemical generated by the Opium poppy plant. The drug can be found as a white or brown powder as well as a black, sticky material.
Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected into the veins. The early effects of heroin use include what addicts refer to as a “rush.”
This is usually followed by a heated sensation, a dry tongue, and a heavy sensation in your legs and limbs. Heroin users begin to feel drowsy after the early effects, as their brain performance, heart rate, and breathing rate are all slow.
Heroin addiction can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
2.13 on the Dependency Scale
Although many people do not consider alcohol to be the most addictive drug, alcohol abuse is a very prevalent problem.
Alcohol is a legal and commonly available substance. Alcohol, like other drugs, works by releasing dopamine into the brain. It’s known as the “social drug” since it reduces anxiety, allowing people to relax in social circumstances.
When people rely on alcohol to release endorphins, it can easily spiral out of hand. To unwind, it’s all too typical to “just have a few drinks.”
Unfortunately, alcohol addiction can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, thus those who are addicted to alcohol must seek treatment.
2.13 on the Dependency Scale
Cocaine is a stimulant that is highly addictive. This popular most addictive drug is produced from the coca plant, which is indigenous to South America.
The medication is sold as a white powder. Regrettably, the drug is frequently coupled with other substances such as carbohydrates, flour, or even other drugs such as amphetamines and opioids.
Cocaine is often snorted and immediately supplies dopamine to the brain, producing a strong but short-lived high. As a result, the substance becomes addictive because users desire to keep recreating the high. Cocaine can also be synthesized in the form of a rock, which is referred to as “crack” cocaine.
Cocaine may not create the same withdrawal symptoms as alcohol, but it acts in the same way: it alters the quantity of dopamine in the brain, causing severe cravings. Although smoking crack is the quickest way to get cocaine into your system, snorting cocaine isn’t far behind. Powder cocaine provides a short high and high tolerance as well.
4. Crack Cocaine
2.82 on the Dependency Scale
As previously stated, crack cocaine is a kind of cocaine that has been processed into a rock form. To achieve a high, the substance is smoked.
Crack cocaine is comparable to its derivative, but it is more potent and produces a more intense high. Because the chemical high lasts less time than cocaine (generally only about 10 minutes), addicts typically seek higher and more frequent dosages to reestablish their high.
While the high from the crack produces sensations of enthusiasm, vitality, and enjoyment, the crash produces the opposite effects. Addicts can experience severe melancholy, anxiety, and rage.
2.82 on the Dependency Scale
Nicotine, like alcohol, is a legal narcotic that is widely available through a variety of over-the-counter tobacco products and, more recently, e-cigarettes and vaping devices that contain nicotine in chemical form.
Despite growing health warnings and crackdowns on the tobacco business, Americans aged 18 and up can purchase nicotine and tobacco products in the United States. Unfortunately, it is all too typical for these items to be found in the hands of youngsters, who develop a nicotine addiction at a young age.
According to a 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 55 per cent of people aged 12 and up have tried cigarettes at some point in their lives.
1.89 on the Dependency Scale
Barbiturates, which are produced from barbituric acid, are central nerve depressants. Barbiturates come in several forms, with common names such as Fiorina, Pentothal, Seconal, and Nembutal. They are made in pill form and can be snorted or mixed with water for injection.
Barbiturates are Schedule II substances, which implies they are utilized in medicine but can be highly addictive, according to the CSA.
Symptoms of barbiturate usage include:
- Reduced inhibition
- Impaired judgment
- Emotional swings
- Sedation (users may appear calm or drowsy)
- Speech that is slurred
- Coordination issues (users may fall over frequently).
7. Crystal Meth
2.24 on the Dependency Scale
Crystal meth is a kind of methamphetamine. This entire addictive substance class is exceedingly dangerous.
Meth is a stimulant in all forms, but crystal meth is the most powerful and hazardous. It’s usually smoked like crack cocaine, but it can also be snorted or injected. This dangerous substance produces a strong euphoric high. It increases focus and produces excitability and enjoyment.
At larger doses, it can cause psychosis, as well as aggressive and violent conduct. There is a substantial risk of addiction to this chemical. It makes the brain depend on the extra dopamine and norepinephrine it produces.
Unfortunately, this reduces the brain’s ability to manufacture these substances on its own over time. Addicts’ incapacity to focus or feel pleasure on their own is frequently the result of this.
2.68 on the Dependency Scale
Methadone is an opiate medicine often used to treat heroin or morphine addiction, therefore tolerance to it is advantageous in a clinical environment.
When taken as prescribed and under medical supervision, the risk of addiction is modest (less than 1%), but persons who use this medication recreationally run the risk of becoming hooked.
Methadone withdrawal is unpleasant and difficult, usually lasting more than a month, with effects being comparable to those of heroin.
How do the most Addictive Drugs work?
Dopamine is a drug that causes a sense of fulfilment and well-being. Dopamine enters neurons through dopamine receptors.
When you take a medicine that raises your dopamine levels, your body tries to compensate by lowering dopamine receptors. As a result, when a person stops taking the medication, his or her dopamine levels plummet, which explains why the person needs the drug so much.
While these are the most addictive drugs, other addictive drugs can also lead to addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted, assistance can be provided to you.
Treatment Options for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Recognizing that you or someone you care about has the most addictive drug use issue is the first step toward therapy. It makes no difference if the addiction is to illegal drugs or legal drugs such as alcohol; this is a disease that can take over your life.
If you or someone you know has been addicted to any of the harmful chemicals listed on this list of the most addictive drugs, there are effective therapies available. You can avoid your addiction from spiralling out of control if you seek help as soon as possible.
It might be tough to talk to someone who does not feel they have a substance use disorder or who is unwilling to accept help. An intervention may be able to assist in this situation.
Professional treatment options also include the following:
- Detoxification under medical supervision
- inpatient rehab
- outpatient rehab
- telehealth treatment
- medication-assisted treatment and,
- specific substance use disorder treatment programs
Aside from the most addictive drug, hundreds of other chemicals are extremely harmful to your or your loved ones’ health. Addiction therapy should be pursued regardless of dependency rates. It is critical to comprehend medications in order of addictiveness but keep in mind that all narcotics pose negative health concerns.