The Most Addicting Drugs


| 4 Comments
crystal-meth.jpg
I don't know if any of you out there have read the Crank series by Ellen Hopkins, but if you haven't, they are basically about a girl's struggle with her addiction with meth. The series starts out with her visiting her dad for the summer where she falls in love for the first time. Her boyfriend gets her to try meth and from there it was just a downward spiral. You see her addiction progress in a way that's entirely realistic to the point where you can see how she let herself get to the point that she did. After reading the series multiple times, I became fascinated by the concept of addiction and I was curious to know what the most addicting drug was. 

The answer, according to this website, surprised me. You would think that a drug as dangerous as meth or even heroin would be the most addicting but they aren't. Instead, nicotine was found to be the most addicting. You can buy cigarettes at pretty much any gas station in the country so it's no shocker that so many people in the world are addicted to them when they contain something as addicting as nicotine. Caffeine was found to be the second most addicting, which surprised me once again, although I guess it shouldn't have. My dad used to be so addicted to coffee to the point where he drank an average of eight cups a day. If he didn't have coffee, he'd suffer from horrible migraines. Coming in at 3 and 4 were heroin and cocaine, which is the first time on the list that drugs that are actually illegal came up. 

I found another article that had heroin, cocaine, and nicotine all in the top three most addicting drugs. Methadone and crystal meth were numbers 4 and 5 on their list. Their list also included alcohol, amphetamines, and benzodiazepines. Amphetamines, such as Adderall and Dexedrine, aren't as addictive as meth but they have some of the same rewards like increased energy. When people quit, it causes severe depression and anxiety as well as fatigue and fatigue makes people start to crave the amphetamines again. Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. Quitting these drugs cold turkey can cause irritability, panic and anxiety attacks which are the things that the drugs are set out to stop in the first place so it makes it more difficult to quit. 

Addiction can turn into a vicious cycle that is sometimes impossible to stop. If you want to watch an actually really interesting video about addiction from Hank Green here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukFjH9odsXw 

Source:
http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/most-addictive-drugs-world/
http://www.alternet.org/10-hardest-drugs-kick?page=0%2C1

4 Comments

I find it interesting that the article you cited measured addiction by the percentage of people who use the drug over a period of time that become addicted. The period of time is not specified, but certainly has an impact on the statistics. I also believe there is a difference between the addictive qualities of each drug and the manner in which society uses each drug. Cigarettes and caffeine are not only legal (more available), but their usage and even abuse is generally accepted in society. Heroin and cocaine are much more difficult to consistently find, and their daily usage is looked down upon by society. I hypothesize that social conformity significantly affects the percentage of people who use the drug that become addicted, and the extent of this impact is impossible to account for. I've always considered the severity of physical dependency and how quickly that is acquired through usage as the most important determinant of addiction. I believe that further research on the qualities associated with addiction is required to determine which drug is the most addictive.

Very interesting to see that heroin or crack is not at the top of every list for most addicting drug. This blog really showed me that addiction is no joke, and if you are not careful, you can get addicted to something as simple as caffeine. Each year in the Untied States, there are more deaths related to substance abuse than anything else. In a sense, we are our own worst enemy. We are able to become so dependent on some drugs that we forget what the drug is doing to us, mainly destroying our minds and bodies. Another interesting statistic is that every United States adult spends on average $1,000 on addiction every year. This shows that addiction not only can lead to death, but also can lead to poverty. It is so scary that people can get to the point where they spend their entire life savings just to get one more "high." Addiction is an extremely serious thing. I believe that people should be made more aware of the dangers of addiction associated with legal substances like caffeine or nicotine. I am sure a lot of people are addicted right now and do not even realize it.

Source:
http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/facts-about-addiction.htm

I found this post to be very interesting as well. I would have assumed that the harder drugs such as heroin, or even crack would be at the top of that list before nicotine. Although, part of me believes that getting addicted to nicotine is a lot easier. I think this partially because it is so much easier for people to be able to go into any random gas station or corner store and pick up a pack of cigarettes. Not only that but it is also not illegal so people will spend more time smoking nicotine than they would smoking crack or harder drugs like that. I also believe that people need to be more aware of the dangers that can come from addiction. Some people may argue that they are not addicted and before you know it they are smoking 2 packs or more of cigarettes a day. This is something that people need to start looking into and definitely need to be more educated on the dangers of all these drugs!

This post is extremely interesting. Although I have not read "Crank", I have heard a lot about. In my spare time, I've found it really interesting to watch documentaries that describe the origin, creation and effects of specific drugs on the human body and mind. Here is on the episodes of "Drugs Inc." that I found particularly interesting, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NdtT332f_w .

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