Commonly Abused Drugs

If you have been struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it is important that you learn how to take back control over your life. To be able to do this, you have to learn about the most common types of substances that are abused as well as how they are likely to affect you.

1. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable, which makes it difficult to spot an alcohol use disorder or an alcoholism problem. In spite of the fact that alcohol is legal, its potential for abuse and addiction is dangerous because it will expose you to many other health related risks and problems.

Abusing alcohol also comes with many negative consequences. Apart from death from alcohol overdose and liver disease, drunk driving can lead to accidents that could claim your life and those of other people.

2. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines cause effects that are similar to those derived from alcohol. As such, you can be sure that this drug is among the most common substances of abuse in the country. It is also among the most dangerous of all.

If you go into withdrawal as a result of abusing this drug, you may experience violent and erratic behavior that could lead to death, harm, and incapacitation - either of yourself or of others around you.

Examples of benzodiazepines include but are not limited to Klonopin, Diazepam, Xanax, and Valium. All of these drugs are prescribed for mood regulation in the management of conditions such as stress and anxiety.

If you are developing a substance use disorder involving this class of drugs, you may not be aware of it unless you get to a point in your life where you find that you are no longer able to function normally without taking them.

It is also important to remember that benzodiazepines are particularly dangerous due to the powerful impact that they have on the chemical makeup of the brain. It can also be dangerous to withdraw from these drugs without any medical assistance.

3. Cocaine

Research studies have shown that cocaine has been falling in terms of popularity among young people. This is primarily due to increasing scarcity as well as its relatively high cost. Even so, cocaine addiction is among the most common substance use disorders in the United States.

The decline in the rates of cocaine abuse and addiction in the country has also been slow. For instance, close to 1 million Americans were still addicted to this drug by 2011. Further, this form of substance abuse is compounded by crack cocaine - the more intense and cheaper version of regular cocaine. This drug has been causing many cases of crippling addictions while also ruining the lives of many across the United States.

4. Heroin

When you learn about the opioid epidemic plaguing the country, you might assume that it was caused by heroin. Although heroin is among the most common substances of abuse in the country, it is still not abused in rates that are as high as those of prescription opioids.

Even so, this drug causes severe withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is so difficult to overcome an addiction involving heroin. To treat this condition, addiction recovery centers will often use a combination of medications and therapy to manage your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

The important thing to remember is that heroin abuse is growing in the country - especially among young women. If you abuse this drug, there is a risk that you may also contract as well as spread other diseases like hepatitis and HIV/AIDS especially in case you share injection needles.

5. Marijuana

Marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant. Unfortunately, it has been legalized in some states, which has made it much more acceptable in various social circles. However, this trend has been distracting people from the fact that the drug comes with a high potential for addiction.

Over the last decade, for instance, the rates of addiction involving cannabis has been growing as a result of the increasing potency of more than 60 percent of this addictive drug.

6. Nicotine

Tobacco is widely available and legal in the United States. As a result, it is not exactly surprising that this is among the most common substances of abuse in the country. Every year, more than 40 million people struggle with addiction involving this drug.

The primary ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. Once you become addicted to this chemical, you might think that it is as harmful as the other types of addictions. This is due to the fact that tobacco - as well as its resultant products - are still legal in the United States. They are also relatively affordable and easy to get a hold of. In the same way, the side effects of tobacco use will often take a long time before they start showing.

Even so, it is important to keep in mind that tobacco use has been claiming more lives than any of the other intoxicating substances available today. As a smoker, it is difficult to quit even if you are already aware of the negative impact of smoking on your health and wellness.

7. Pain Relief Medications

Pain relief medications - especially prescription painkillers - are among the most commonly addictive substances in the United States. Unfortunately, these drugs are also among the most understated. This is even though most people are aware of the current opioid epidemic that was caused by over prescription of this class of drugs.

Doctors commonly prescribe drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and codeine for the treatment and management of pain. Although these painkillers are legal and available via prescription, it does not necessary mean that they are not addictive.

In fact, it is quite easy to develop an addiction involving these drugs even when you are taking them in seemingly harmless ways. This is why you might not realize that you have a problem until you try stopping your substance use.

Getting Help

Irrespective of the types of addictive substances that you have been abusing, it is recommended that you check into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center so that you can get help in overcome and managing your growing drug and alcohol abuse and dependence.

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