Drug abuse has continued to be a large issue all across the country. Some drugs are more prominent than others, but even those with lesser numbers are huge issues. Even several substances that have legitimate uses within the society, such as medical purposes, are illicitly abused.
Illegal Drug Abuse
While there seems to be an almost innumerable amount of substances out there, there are ones that are more commonly abused. We have compiled a list of the top 10 most prominent illegal substances. Some of these are technically legal substances but are included because as mentioned above, they are often used illegally.
- Opiates – Opiates have become one of the largest illicitly used substances within our society. This category can include an extremely large amount of different substances. First, there are prescription painkillers like Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Oxycodone, and many others. These are used to help mitigate the pain from chronic conditions, injuries, and after surgery. But, there are also those that obtain them through various illegal means. Then there is heroin, which is completely illegal and used by people of all ages, races, and other demographics.
- Marijuana – Marijuana goes by a variety of names and comes in several different forms. While the legalization movement is making progress, recreational use is still considered illegal in most states. This has some of the least harmful effects out of the drugs on the list, but it still produces noticeable changes in the brain. Marijuana is actually the most commonly used illicit substance.
- Cocaine – The use of cocaine has died down somewhat considerably, but it is still a commonly used illicit substance. The appeal of cocaine is the quick and intense high that it brings upon, though it is also quite short-lived. Being that the high is typically quite short, it brings the person to continue to use more to obtain it again.
- Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine manufacture and use reduced significantly when legislation cracked down on the sale of one of its core ingredients. Though, it is still quite a prominent substance in certain states. Nowadays, most meth within the United States originates from superlabs in Mexico and is smuggled across the border. It is known for its massive dopamine release into the brain, making the person hyperactive and alert.
- Ecstasy – Ecstasy, also known as MDMA and several other names, is a drug commonly used within the party culture. It produces a euphoria where an individual feels happy, alert, and relaxed. Though, it can also have a slew of side effects, like hallucinations, chills, and nausea.
- Benzodiazepines – Benzos are commonly referred to as “downers” because they make a person feel calm and relaxed. Common types of benzos include Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. Benzos can have a wide variety of side effects, such as depression, altered vision, cognition impairment, seizures, and much more. They can be overdosed on quite easily, and there have been thousands of deaths every year as a result of this.
- Methadone – Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is commonly used in opioid dependence treatment or management. While it is less likely to produce overdose, it can still be dangerous when abused. Improper use can result in breathing difficulties, nausea, and in some cases death.
- Crack Cocaine – Crack is a form of cocaine which is in the form of a “rock.” It is typically smoked, as opposed to being snorted like traditional cocaine. It has effects similar to that of normal cocaine, but crack produces a faster and more intense high, but it is shorter than that of cocaine.
- Bath Salts – Bath salts are a synthetic substance that has skyrocketed in use over the past few years. They bring about a euphoria that can last for hours, but individuals often continue to use them and stay awake for days.
- Amphetamines – These are distinctly different from methamphetamine. They are often referred to as “uppers” because they make individuals feel extremely energetic and confident. But, they can also have side effects like weight loss, anxiety, loss of appetite, and much more. This category includes the ADHD/ADD medication Adderall.
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