No addiction is easy, whether it’s drugs or shopping, addiction is a challenge. Some substances are more addictive than others though. The more addicting a substance is, the easier it is to get hooked and harder it is to detox. It can be hard to scientifically judge, which drugs are most addictive, but here are the five most addicting ones.
Heroin is commonly called the most addictive drug out there and there is a reason why. Heroin is an opiate, which increases the level of dopamine in the brain by up to 200%. There is a reason why so many Americans are struggling with heroin addictions.
Detox from heroin and other opiates is one of the most challenging too. Not only is heroin highly addictive, but it’s also extremely dangerous. The dose that can cause death is only five times higher than the dose needed to experience a high.
Cocaine is another highly addictive substance. Due to its high cost, the rates of addiction isn’t as great currently, but there was a time when crack and cocaine had it’s own epidemic in America. Cocaine interferes with the brain’s use of dopamine to convey messages from one neuron to another. Simply put, cocaine prevents neurons from turning the dopamine signal off, resulting in an abnormal brain reward system.
Nicotine addiction is increasing across the US, and mostly amongst youths. This is thanks to the rise of vaping. Nicotine is the main addictive ingredient of tobacco. When someone smokes a cigarette or vapes, the nicotine is rapidly absorbed by the lungs and delivered to the brain. There’s a reason why it’s so hard to quit smoking!
Barbiturates, also called downers, are a class of drugs rather than a single drug. Many prescription drugs used to treat anxiety or insomnia were barbiturates, however, due to how highly addictive they were and their high rates of overdosing, many how now been replaced with benzodiazepines.
Barbiturates interfere with the chemical signals in the brain, which can even shut down various regions. At low doses they cause euphoria, but higher doses are extremely dangerous as they suppress breathing.
Alcohol addiction has one of the highest rates in the US and there is a reason why. Alcohol is highly addictive and has many effects on the brain. It increases dopamine levels in the brain, and the more one drinks the more dopamine levels increase.
Around 22% of people who have taken a drink will develop alcohol dependence at some point in their life. In addition to being addictive, alcohol is one of the most damaging drugs out there too.