In countries across the globe, drug addiction is a major concern. However, the issue at large isn’t down to a single substance, nor is it something particularly new; there are lots of different types of drugs that can lead the people who take them, along with their loved ones down an irreversibly dangerous path.

Although it is highly unlikely that people who try a drug once will not usually become addicted after just once, for some people, that ‘just one time’ can turn into something that spirals out of control, it can ruin the lives of the person with the drug addiction, along with that of those around them.

There are lots of factors that can determine whether or not a person will develop a problem with drug addiction; genetics, mental state, life circumstances, peer pressure, social situations and more. In this post, we look at what the most addictive illegal drugs are, talking a little about each one, and the effects that they can have in both the short and the long-term.

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  1. Cocaine

Top of the list of the most addictive drugs in the world is Crack Cocaine. Not only is it considered to be one the most dangerous, but it can also result in lethal damage to a person’s brain due to the fact it releases uncontrollably high levels of Dopamine. Crack Cocaine is typically smoked through a glass pipe, and it can lead to heightened feelings of joy and pleasure. Usually, when people take this substance, they will get an almost instantaneous burst of energy and an incredibly euphoric feeling that lasts for just ten minutes.

Crack Cocaine is one of the very few drugs that people can become addicted to after using it just one time. For this reason, it takes prime place as the most addictive of all illegal drugs in the world.

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  • Heroin

Another highly addictive substance is Heroin. It is a substance that is either snorted, smoked or injected, and provides people who take it with an almost instantaneous hit. After using the drug for only a very short space of time, people who are addicted to Heroin will feel like they cannot exist without it, and they need it in order to feel good about themselves; without it, they feel depressed, and any phase of withdrawal is a severe challenge.

Heroin is extracted from Opium, and it is a semi-synthetic substance, as such, it is part of the Opiate family of drugs. When a person becomes addicted to Heroin, their brain develops a craving for the substance which can be very hard to eradicate completely.

There is a growing amount of research that suggests people who become addicted to prescription drugs may develop problems with Heroin use. This is because they will seek to replicate the same euphoric feelings that they once got from taking the prescription drugs, and as their tolerance to the effects of that drug lessens, taking Heroin is a secondary class of drugs that can give them the high they are chasing.

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  • Bath Salts

This is another type of drug that provides its users with an instant feeling of euphoria, with effects that are relatively long-lasting, up to a few hours. Bath Salts are taken by snorting, smoking, or injecting. People who are abusing this drug will take it on several occasions, often staying up for days without sleeping. The core ingredient in this drug is MDPV.

In terms of the reasons why people become easily addicted, aside from the effects, the cost of bath salts is relatively cheap, particularly when compared with ecstasy, meth, and cocaine. When a person takes bath salts, they can have a tendency to display violent and aggressive behavioral patterns, along with experiencing hallucinations and insomnia. Other effects of long-term drug abuse, this can cause severe kidney damage, liver damage, and an irreparable breakdown of the skeletal muscle tissues.

  • Amphetamine

Another highly addictive drug that is frequently compared to methamphetamine but is quite different from that substance. It gives the user a boost in their confidence levels, energy, euphoria and a general feeling of happiness. It also works as an appetite suppressant.

Many people enjoy the weight loss effects of this drug and the fact that it can temporarily lift their mood and make them feel better. Because it can often contain substances such as Dexedrine and Adderall, which are both banned; it is highly illegal and comes with a range of quite nasty side-effects. Some of these effects include panic attacks, dry mouth, anxiety, convulsions, nervousness, depression, psychotic behavior and dangerous weight loss.

  • Methamphetamine

Taking this drug poses severe risks to a persons short and long-term health. It increased the levels of Dopamine in a person’s brain, the individual who takes it feels hyperactive and hyper-alert. It can also severely suppress a person’s appetite. The nickname given to this drug is called Meth, and it can completely take over a person following just a single use.

It can be taken in a number of forms, including being taken orally, injected, dissolved into a drink, smoked or snorted. The effects of taking Meth do not wear off for anything up to 8 hours. The longer-term impacts can result in a heart attack, severe weight loss, memory impairment, loss of cognitive functions, tooth decay, gum disease, and psychotic episodes.

  • Cocaine

Taking cocaine just once can lead to a serious problem with drug addiction. It creates a significantly higher level of Dopamine in a person’s brain which leads to immense excitement, and a euphoric feeling. It is most commonly snorted and comes with a range of particularly disastrous side-effects. These include restlessness, engaging in risky behavior, disrupted sleeping and eating, along with depression and anxiety. With prolonged use of cocaine, drug addicts could potentially open the doors to stroke, heart attack, seizure, psychotic behavior, breathing problems, and hallucinations.

  • Ecstasy

The majority of ecstasy tablets are filled with MDMA, also known as Molly. While this particular drug has been around for some time, it is still very popular today. People who take ecstasy feel elation; they feel relaxed, alert, focussed, and very happy. Hence the nickname, ‘the love drug.’ Users can go without sleeping from anything from 2-3 days after taking the drug, and it comes in either powder or tablet forms.

Some of the side-effects of ecstasy include an elevated heart rate, panic attacks, stroke, depression, paranoia, anxiety, muscle cramping, nausea, blurry vision, heart attack, and psychotic behavior.

  • Methadone

This particular type of drug is classified as a pain killer or type of Opioid. It is usually prescribed in order to treat addictions to Heroin or Morphine. People are given this drug because it can help them when they are suffering from severe symptoms of withdrawal. Providing this drug is taken in a highly-controlled environment, and when handled correctly, Methadone addiction is relatively low.

Taking Methadone recreationally, however, presents an entirely different scenario. People who abuse Methadone in this way can become highly addictive. It is usually taken in liquid, powder, and tablets. The side-effects of taking this drug include intense sweating, impotence, nausea, trouble breather, and in the very worst scenario, death.

  • Benzodiazepines

This is a type of prescription drug that is available in as much as fifteen different forms. Some of the most typical names given include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin. They deliver an intense feeling of relaxation, and they release an agent that calms the nerves that are referred to as GABA.

There is a specific type of this drug that is sold illegally, and it is highly dangerous. Some of the impacts of taking it include nausea, stiffness of the muscles, depression, lethargy, declining cognitive functions, abdominal pain, memory impairment, tremors, and anxiety.

  1. Cannabis

The final item on the list and perhaps the least dangerous of all the drugs on this list is Marijuana. Cannabis is actually in the process of being legalized in many countries, and for some places, such as Canada, Holland, California, and more; it is already delegalized for recreational reasons.

It causes only a mild change to the normal functioning of the brain, and for most who use it, it delivers an immense feeling of calm and relaxation. Unlike all the other drugs on this list of the most addictive illegal drugs, it is neither chemically or physically addictive. However, addiction comes with the psychological addiction that can occur. Around 1/10 people who use cannabis will develop a problem with addiction to the drug.

While much research is proving that cannabis has various medical advantages, some of the known side effects include problems with sleeping, irritability, depression, suppressed appetite, and a reduction in brain matter.

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