What Is The Most Addictive Drug?

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveal that more than twenty million Americans battle drug addiction. Drug addiction is a complex and often misunderstood disease. Many people mistakenly blame a lack of moral principles or character flaws without considering the powerful effects drugs have on the brain. But, of course, some drugs exert more influence on the brain than others and have become the most addictive drugs that people battle. So what is the most addictive drug? This all depends. Read below to find out more.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to talk about and recover from substance abuse or addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our recovery programs.

Why Do People Use Drugs?

People start using drugs that lead to addiction for many reasons, such as:

  • Experimentation. Some people want to satisfy their curiosity about the high feeling caused by drugs.
  • Stress. The stress caused by one’s job, school, relationships, or a major life event leads some people to escape through drugs.
  • Rapport. If your close friends use drugs, you are more likely to use them to fit in.
  • Self-medication. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, and other conditions can make one more vulnerable to drug use.
  • Pleasure. Some people constantly seek pleasure, and drugs may seem worth using for their next thrill experience.

Why Do Some People Get Addicted?

While some people use drugs without developing an addiction, others start seeking and using them compulsively with no ability to stop. This continues despite the destructive consequences to their health, relationships, and careers. However, it remains somewhat obscure why some people get addicted, and others don’t. It seems unlikely that only one factor determines if someone becomes addicted to drugs. Instead, a person’s risk of addiction increases with a combination of factors, such as:

  • Genetics. Experts estimate that a person’s genes cause about half of all drug addictions.
  • Surroundings. The people, stress, family, economic status, childhood and past life, occupation, and other environmental factors that affect your quality of life can affect the likelihood of forming an addiction.
  • Stage of life. Although drug use can lead to addiction at any age, earlier drug use more often leads to addiction, especially during the teen years. 
  • Health issues. Experiencing chronic pain or struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues increases the risk of drug addiction.

The Five Most Addictive Drugs

Although most drugs have the potential for addiction, some pose more risk than others. The most addictive drugs have a strong effect on the brain and cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In addition, these drugs form such powerful addictions that you need professional treatment for successful recovery. The following five drugs top most experts’ list of most addictive drugs.

1. Heroin. Many lists begin with heroin because of its reputation for being highly addictive. Heroin acts on the mind and body to produce a pleasurable dopamine-stimulated experience that surpasses what the body can produce naturally. Unfortunately, heroin addiction claims thousands of lives each year.

2. Cocaine. Cocaine, specifically crack cocaine that is smoked, is close behind heroin in the tendency to form an addiction. However, crack cocaine exceeds cocaine in its speed of taking effect, potency, and creation of an intense high feeling.

3. Crystal Meth. Methamphetamine, a synthetic stimulant, has been used for years to keep people awake, lose weight, and treat depression. Crystal meth is an illicit form of methamphetamine that acts differently on the brain to create intense cravings. This is a highly addictive and destructive drug that requires exceptional and persistent professional treatment.

4. Alcohol. The substance most abused and affecting more people with addiction is the depressant, alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary widely and can be life-threatening. Medications, professional counseling, and support groups can help overcome the challenges of recovering from alcohol addiction.

5. Benzodiazepines. More effective benzodiazepines have replaced the once widely prescribed barbiturates. The most popular ones include Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan, that function as calming agents on the brain. Unfortunately, tolerance builds quickly to make stopping difficult without professional treatment.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

These five and other addictive drugs can affect all aspects of your life or the life of a loved one. Myrtle Beach Recovery can help with several recovery options that can help you live a happy and sober life.

Contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our recovery programs.