Addiction is a terrible disease that directly affects the lives of millions of Americans. It is a mental and physical inability to stop ingesting or consuming a drug, chemical, or other substance. This condition will often persist, even in the face of imminent psychological and physical harm or damage.
Not only is it a condition that millions live with every day, but it is also the cause of death for upwards of 100 people per day in the US, according to the government. Substance abuse disorder is becoming incredibly common in the US, and when those individuals seek treatment, they often realize that detox from an addiction can be one of the most difficult things to do.
What Are The Most Addictive Drugs In The World?
There is a very wide range of substances that can be abused. While many are illicit or illegal from the beginning, a large number of addiction scenarios often begin as legitimate prescribed use by a doctor or other medical professional. Some of the most addictive drugs in the world are alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates & painkillers, stimulants, and hallucinogens.
The most commonly abused substance in the country, despite being a legal substance that is readily available at many retailers, is alcohol. It has a very high potential for abuse and increases the risk of many health issues, like liver disease, heart disease, brain damage, and hypertension. Severe abuse over long periods can lead to severe health issues related to behavior while intoxicated, as well as conditions like wet brain, and complications brought on by withdrawal.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax bond to receptors in the brain for gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A), which results in a strong calming effect. Benzodiazepines are often legitimately prescribed for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, insomnia, and occasionally for alcohol withdrawal symptoms. They are only prescribed for short-term use since long-term use can be deadly. Abuse of benzodiazepines that leads to detox can often result in seizures unless medically supervised.
Opiates & Painkillers
Opiates and similar opioid painkillers are rapidly becoming one of the most abused classes of drugs. Opioids come in both legal and illicit varieties, with drugs like OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet, codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone being prescribed in many situations for management of severe or chronic pain. Often those that become addicted to heroin, fentanyl, or other highly illegal opioids began as legitimate users and found that they either developed a tolerance that they could not overcome legally or eventually ran out the course of their initial prescription and could not obtain more legally. In either case, many users turned to illegal forms of the drugs to continue using and avoid the incredibly painful withdrawal symptoms. Not only can the withdrawal symptoms be debilitating, but physical dependence can create an addiction that results in overdose symptoms such as respiratory depression, and even death.
Stimulants are a group of drugs that act on the central nervous system and include well-known drugs such as amphetamines, methamphetamine, and cocaine. They are prescribed in legitimate scenarios to help mitigate symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dietary issues, as well as other illnesses. They are often abused by those seeking energy, alertness, productivity, study aids, weight loss, or simply a very “up” experience. They can be abused leading to seizures, hostility, psychosis, mood swings, hyperthermia, and heart failure.
Hallucinogens are a class of substances that change the user’s perception of themselves, others, the world around them, and even reality itself. Causing significant distortion in the visual and auditory senses of the user, the effects of hallucinogens can be unpredictable. Drugs in this group include PCP, MDMA, LSD, DMT, psilocybin, various members of the succulents or cacti, and even some trees.
Side-Effects Of Using The Most Addictive Drugs in the World
Using alcohol can lead to a host of issues in the short term, such as the inability to operate a vehicle, slurred speech, loss of coordination, diminished ability to form new memories, and lack of personal control and inhibitions. Long-term effects can include a diminished ability to retain memories, liver disease, blood and kidney disorders, brain damage, and seizures.
Benzodiazepines create a very strong physical dependency in the brain of the user, such that the drug can be fatal if stopped cold turkey. The effects of quitting otherwise will often include the return of the symptoms that the drug was used to manage initially. Headache, anxiety, and panic are not uncommon.
Opiates & Painkillers
Opiates have a number of side effects that include things like track marks and scars, vein damage, potential embolisms, infection, tissue damage, and even necrosis. The endorphin receptors in the user’s brain may also become burned out and may need years to recover fully.
These drugs can also cause incredibly dangerous side effects that can range from elevated heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, hyperthermia, euphoria, tremors, and compulsive behavior to severe effects such as heart failure, psychosis, dental damage, permanent brain damage, and the inability to feel joy or happiness about things they once loved.
How to Get Help If You Are Addicted to One of the Most Addictive Drugs in the World
If you think you might be using one of the most addictive drugs in the world, or if you feel that someone close to you may be, you should reach out for help. Understand that addiction is incredibly common these days, and there is no shame in seeking treatment for something that could be holding you back in life. By working with an experienced and local drug addiction treatment facility, there is a higher chance of a long-term successful recovery on your end.
The professional addiction specialists will work with you to design a treatment plan that works best for your needs, whether you need detox, intensive inpatient regimen, or an outpatient plan to help you integrate recovery into your daily life, professionals can help. Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength not weakness. You deserve the opportunity to live a happy, fulfilling life right now.