Most drugs can have a devastating influence on your health, but some drugs have more of a damaging effect than others. Here is a list of some of the most destructive drugs that target your brain and body.
You might be surprised by the inclusion of alcohol on this list, but alcohol has the potential to have an effect more devastating than many illegal drugs. Full-blown alcoholism not only causes severe cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage, and an increased risk of liver disease and brain disorders, but can utterly destroy a lifestyle by severing a person from his responsibilities to his friends, family, and job. Some of the symptoms that alcoholics display are:
- unable to stop drinking
- engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors
- abandoning both personal and professional responsibilities
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, or even convulsions when not drinking
Alcoholism is the number one cause of preventable death in the world today.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, over 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. There are several ways by which people develop prescription drug addictions. One might, for instance, develop a psychological and physical dependency on the drug they were prescribed to by failing to follow doctor’s orders. Others might acquire prescription drugs illegally in order to escape the stress of life or simply to get high. Whatever the reasons, prescription drugs are highly addictive, leading to higher and more dangerous doses as tolerance to the drug develops. According to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, over 120,000 a year are taken to the emergency room due to an overdose of prescription drugs.
Crack cocaine is commonly described as one of the most addictive drugs. While it produces a high much more powerful than regular cocaine due to its rapid onset, the high is of short duration and usually never leaves the user satisfied, creating a strong impulse to take another hit. Crack cocaine addiction develops quickly soon after. Crack cocaine is hard on the liver, kidneys, and most of all, the heart. It causes permanent damage to arteries in the brain, which in turn leads to high blood pressure. Chronic crack cocaine users have a high risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. These catastrophic effects on the body are not the only consequences of crack cocaine. It has an immense impact on the mind, inducing periodic hallucinatory or depressive episodes that might lead to permanent psychosis.
Like crack cocaine, methamphetamine stresses the central nervous as well as the circulatory systems of your body. However, methamphetamine is a drug of extremes. It actually changes brain chemistry, the way in which the body experiences pleasure, and it also causes permanent impairment of important cognitive functions. According to National Institute of Drug Abuse, there was a significant population of meth users who, despite showing regrowth of damaged dopamine receptors, continued to show a severe impairment in basic cognitive functions, including judgment, memory, and motor coordination. Furthermore, methamphetamine destroys blood vessels and tissues as well as the body’s ability to repair itself. It’s notorious for causing rapid aging, and considering the fact that it causes frantic sleepless bouts for up to 10 days, it’s not hard to see why.
Heroin isn’t as immediately destructive as methamphetamine per se, but its physical addiction makes recovery extremely difficult and unlikely. For those wondering how to get sober from heroin, unlike methamphetamine, heroin withdrawal can actually result in death, which makes hospitalization and a detox regimen necessary in order to get sober. Though deaths from heroin withdrawal are quite rare, their occurrence points to the severe physical dependency associated with long-term heroin use. In addition to physical dependency, heroin destroys the heart lining and valves. Needle use leads to collapsed veins. The real danger of heroin is the risk of overdose. According to the University of Utah, heroin accounts for more deaths from overdose than any other drug.
A Never-Ending List
The number of dangerous drugs is astronomically high, both in the legal and illegal markets. New, more powerful prescription drugs hit the shelves regularly, while illegal drugs also continue to evolve into more deadly mixtures. The list seems to be never-ending and the number of lives ruined by theses substances is far to high.