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What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

Drug addiction is a disease that affects millions of Americans. The type of drug you are addicted to has a lot of influence on the disease’s symptoms and intensity. Some drugs are more addictive than others. Drugs are addictive because they usually target the reward and pleasure functions of your brain.  Eventually, the brain associates […]

Drug addiction is a disease that affects millions of Americans. The type of drug you are addicted to has a lot of influence on the disease’s symptoms and intensity. Some drugs are more addictive than others. Drugs are addictive because they usually target the reward and pleasure functions of your brain. 

Eventually, the brain associates these functions with a particular substance’s presence, and you become dependent. Your brain and body will react negatively with withdrawal symptoms when you fail to abuse some more. The most addictive drugs have the most intense withdrawal symptoms and therefore cause a relapse. 

It is important to get help for highly addictive drugs. Highly addictive drugs also have a high risk of relapse. Therefore, it is hard to recover on your own. However, in case you relapse, you should still seek addiction treatment. Addiction treatment will also help you to avoid or deal with the severe side effects of addiction. 

What Are the Characteristics of the Most Addictive Drug?

The following are some of the characteristics of addictive drugs:

High Pleasure Intensity

Addictive drugs usually cause more intense euphoria. They trigger a much more and more prolonged release of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain. As a result, you will easily develop a physical and psychological dependence on the drug’s effects.

Physical Dependence

Physical dependence is where your body becomes dependent on the presence to function properly. Some characteristics of physical dependence include physical withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, cravings, and increased tolerance.

Psychological Dependence

Highly addictive drugs can cause major psychological dependence on the users. Some psychological dependence characteristics include being afraid to stop repeated use of a drug and continued use regardless of negative effects.

 

What Is the Most Addictive Drug?

This guide will define most addictive drugs under three main categories:

  1. Legal drugs
  2. Illegal drugs
  3. Prescription drugs.

 

Nicotine Is The Most Addictive Legal Drug

The most addictive legal drug is nicotine. It is mainly present in vapes, cigarettes, and e-cigs. You can buy these nicotine products in local gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, and other easily accessible places. Sadly, many people assume nicotine is not a drug and abuse it several times a day. In 2014, Research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 40 million Americans were smoking cigarettes at the time. People also use smokeless tobacco products and consume them through chewing, snuffing, or dipping. In 2012, 4% of nicotine users used smokeless products. 

Why Is Nicotine Addictive?

Nicotine triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of relaxation and reward. Your brain gets used to the presence of dopamine, and you can easily become dependent on nicotine to trigger its release. People often experience depression, anxiety, tiredness, and other symptoms if they do not use nicotine. Your addiction becomes more severe if you continue using more nicotine. 

Risks of Using Nicotine

  • Stained teeth 
  • Mouth cancer 
  • Lung damage 
  • Lung cancer 
  • Blood clots 
  • Discoloration of teeth 
  • Wrinkles 
  • Weaker immune system 
  • Risks of type 2 diabetes, stroke, or heart attack 
  • High blood pressure

Heroin Is The Most Addictive Illegal Drug

The most addictive illegal drug is heroin. It is a Schedule I drug that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) defines as highly addictive. Manufacturers make heroin from the seed pods of the Asian poppy plant. 

Why Is Heroin Addictive?

Once you take heroin, your body converts it to morphine. The morphine attaches to the opiate receptors in your brain, which results in a quick and intense euphoria. People will have intense cravings for euphoria even after their first use of heroin. 

Risks of Heroin Abuse and Addiction

Heroin abuse affects vital functions of your body, like breathing. There is a higher risk of overdose if you take more or a large quantity. Moreover, the withdrawal symptoms can become uncomfortable and severe a few hours after your last dose. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Chills 
  • Sweating 
  • Goosebumps 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Uncontrollable movements

Prescription Opioids Are The Most Addictive Prescription Drugs

Opiates are some of the most addictive prescription drugs. These drugs have a high risk of addiction and have caused the opioid epidemic in America and the rest of the world. Furthermore, they are dangerous and cause many overdose fatalities. Research shows that prescription opioids 60% of overdose deaths in 2010 alone. Some highly addictive prescription opioids include Fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, and meperidine (Demerol). 

Why Are Prescription Opioids Addictive? 

Opiates act on your nervous system to produce intense feelings of pain relief and pleasure. Moreover, you will also experience intense cravings because they changed your brain chemistry and increased drug tolerance, quickly becoming an addiction. The risk is so high that you have to take some prescription opioids at licensed medical centers as the law prohibits carrying them home.

 

Risks of Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Abuse and withdrawal of prescription opioids have effects like:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Change in personality or behavior
  • Serious headaches 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Overdose and death

 

Do You or a Loved One Need Addiction Help in California?

Coastline Behavioral Health in Orange County offers reliable addiction treatment for addiction and underlying mental health issues. We assess our patients’ treatment needs and create a treatment plan customized to these needs. A personalized treatment plan makes addiction treatment more effective. Avoid using excuses to avoid treatment. contact us today at (714)842-2260 to enquire or enroll in any of our addiction or mental health treatment programs

People can become addicted to various substances or alcohol. Some substances are more addictive than others. As a result, they are responsible for multiple severe effects, including overdose, fatalities, and more. Such substances have infamous statistics or/and restrictions from major government bodies like the CDC or DEA. 

There are highly addictive drugs that are still legal such as Nicotine. The most addictive illegal drug is heroin, while the most addictive prescription drugs are opioids. 

 

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