most addictive drugs

The Worst of the Worst: Which of the Most Addictive Drugs Are the Worst for Your Health?

Cocaine, meth, and heroin, oh my! If you ask someone what the most addictive drugs are, they’ll probably site those three (not necessarily in that order).

And we agree – heroin, meth, and cocaine all cause thousands of deaths a year. We have death tolls that tell us which is “worst”, but they’re all life-altering bad.

Learn what two of the most dangerous three can do to a user below.

A Quick Disclaimer

It’s almost impossible to rank which drug is the most dangerous for your health. Why? Because of the way one drug acts on someone is different than the way it acts on another person. At least in subtle ways.

Some people try drugs once and can stop cold turkey. Other people are addicted from the first hit/puff/sniff. It’s all about how your body processes things and if you have addiction in your family.

Or if you’re predisposed to addiction from other factors, like your mental health.

That said – we’re going to use data that shows the number of deaths per drug to rank the dangerous drugs below, but keep in mind there is no real order- at least on an individual basis.

The Most Addictive Drugs: Heroin

Which drug have we seen an uptick of use within the last five years? Unfortunately, it’s not something relatively mild, like Cannabis.

It’s one of the most dangerous drugs (the most deaths), heroin.

Perhaps it’s because the people doing Heroin these days didn’t grow up hearing stories of people overdosing. There hasn’t been a famous death from heroin in quite a while.

At least not one as well-covered as Jim Morrison’s or Sid Vicious’. 

There were over 10,000 deaths from Heroin use in the US, in 2014, and the number goes up every year.

Why is Heroin so Dangerous?

Heroin is very addictive, you can compare it to things we’re seeing now, like fentanyl. In fact, they’re not that chemically different.

Both are depressants, which means they relax your body and create a feeling of euphoria. Both are types of opiates, which are derived from the Poppy plant.

If you’ve ever heard of Opium dens in Asian history – these were the kind of drugs they were doing.

However, heroin is very hard to administer. You can both snort and smoke the powder, but most choose to shoot it up – that is, insert it straight into their bloodstream through their veins.

That involves needles, which aren’t something you want to play with at home. Many heroin addicts care more about getting high than the quality and sterilization of the needle, which is how bloodborne diseases spread.

There are higher rates of hepatitis and HIV-Aids among intravenous drug users.

The Addictive Factor

Heroin is extremely addictive. One addict said that you feel so good on Heroin that you never feel that good again once you’re sober.

If it makes you really feel that good, you can see how quickly it becomes addictive.

But it’s not just that. The body builds up a tolerance to heroin as it does with any other drug. As you build up a tolerance, you have to shoot up more every time, to get the same effect.

And since heroin processes as morphine in your brain, it’s like turning the morphine drip to the highest setting – that’ll shut down your body’s processes and kill you just like that.

Issues with Purity

As if all that wasn’t dangerous enough, it’s rare to get pure heroin anymore. The purest heroin is a white powder, but most of the time it’s seen as tan or brownish. There is some that are black – which you’ve probably heard called black tar heroin.

The problem is, the darker the color, the worse the quality. Drug dealers are famous for “cutting” their drugs, which means that they add in another substance so they have more to sell/

Rat poison is commonly found in heroin, as is fentanyl. Laundry detergent and flour are two other, less harmful ingredients.

Yet- you saw what happened with the Tide Pod challenge. Do you really want to insert those kinds of chemicals into your blood?

Let us answer that for you: you don’t.

Finally, some drug dealers put pure caffeine into the heroin. While this doesn’t sound so dangerous, it can mask the signs of an overdose.

If someone doesn’t feel as high from the drug because of the caffeine, they may take more – and end up administering a lethal dose.

Second Place: Meth

It’s not easy to rank drugs. While there are fewer deaths due to meth use, Meth has a much more visible effect on your body. It’s not a drug anyone who values their looks want to use.

It’s highly addictive as well, probably as addictive (if not more) as heroin. It’s smoked or snorted, so it’s an easier delivery method than shooting up.

Along with the addictive aspect, meth restructures how your brain works – and that can last for up to a week after your last dose.

Drug-Induced Psychosis 

It’s common to experience drug-induced psychosis when coming down from meth. That means that your body experiences some of the symptoms of things like multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia as it tries to regain a sense of normality.

Both of those disorders can create delusions and hallucinations. Delusions can drive people to do dangerous and crazy things, like jump off a bridge if they think someone’s chasing them.

You also see the damage of the teeth, the lungs, the nervous system, and the skin in meth users. They famously have sores all over their body, as one of the common delusions is feeling like you have bugs crawling under your skin.

A lot of the deaths from meth don’t come from the direct use of the drug – but what it causes people to do.

That said, the number of deaths due to meth according to this CDC report was 3,495 in 2014. That’s almost a third of the deaths from heroin, but again, it doesn’t count drug-use-accident related cases.

There are No Good Drugs

When it comes to drugs – you shouldn’t do them unless you’re directed to by a doctor. And if you are directed to by a doctor, only do so in the exact fashion and for the exact amount of time as they direct.

The most addictive drugs are heroin and meth, but benzodiazepines (think, Xanax) and cocaine also make the list.

If you suspect a loved one is using one of these dangerous drugs (or any other!) get them to a rehab center, as soon as possible. Here’s a list of centers nearby, for your convenience. 

References:

hobbies in addiction treatment

How Hobbies Help Your Recovery in Addiction Rehab

Hobbies can sometimes seem like nuisances to us. They can even seem like something we just don’t have the time for in the busyness of everyday life. Addiction treatment, however, thrives on hobbies. 

Many discussions around rehab or recovery can have a negative tone, however, today we will be discussing our hobbies and how they can help us on the long road to recovery. 

Before we begin, it is important to understand that the connection between mental illness and addiction is so strong. We at Addiction Treatment Services understand this connection between addiction and mental health, and we want to help you on the road to recovery. 

First, let’s take a look at why hobbies are helpful, and then we will discuss some specific hobbies that can be beneficial during recovery, so that you have a tangible point of reference going forward. 

How Are Hobbies Helpful? 

Hobbies are an outlet that provide us with something to do while we aren’t busy working and taking care of other responsibilities. They keep us active and motivated without stressing us out. While some hobbies are not extremely productive, such as playing video games, for example, they all leave us feeling good and calm afterwards. 

It is no secret that human beings today have undergone the process of natural selection over time. See, we have a drive in us as part of our evolutionary history to seek out the things that make us feel good, such as eating food, drinking water, and so on. These activities activate reward centers in the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals to reward us for doing them. 

Natural selection has caused us to develop a need to do things that are productive, beneficial to our bodies, or that make us better in some other way. Thanks to the reward centers in the brain, we feel good when we do these types of things. All of this is for the purpose of staying alive. Thus, when we do something that makes us feel good, most of the time, that thing is something that is beneficial to us. 

We enjoy feeling productive just as much as we enjoy activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, or hiking. The reason is because these things make us feel alive. 

How Hobbies Help Your Recovery 

One of the greatest fights you will likely face in addiction is the fight of boredom. Addiction treatment thrives on being busy because otherwise, boredom can quickly lead to relapse. However, none of us want to be busy all the time, since this can make us feel overwhelmed and stressed. 

While nobody wants to be busy constantly, in addiction treatment, it is important to have certain activities or hobbies that do occupy the majority of your time in order to avoid the potential for relapse. 

Hobbies can take up a large amount of your time. Running takes a period of time, as does drawing, or becoming skilled in playing guitar or singing. These things occupy our time, however, they are a different kind of time killer. These periods of time make us feel fulfilled and leave us feeling good. 

This is where we need to differentiate between instant gratification hobbies, like video games and watching television, and productive hobbies. Both are helpful, but in the end, productive hobbies will leave us feeling, well, productive, whereas instant gratification hobbies are simply time wasters that do not lead to anything greater being accomplished. 

Chasing this good feeling of contributing to the world, or your own well-being, is the feeling we should want to chase. This good feeling is so different than the instant gratification that substances provide. If we seek instant hobbies, then we will be creating the same patterns of an addiction, rather than the beneficial patterns of productive hobbies. 

Hobbies Connect Us 

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of hobbies is that they have the potential to unite us in community. We are connected to each other when we do certain hobbies together. Connection is one of the strongest weapons in combating addiction. 

Many of these hobbies bring us together for one common cause and allow us to meet others who share our ideas and beliefs. Being able to hike with someone, overcome obstacles on a  run with someone, or meet to play music together can bonds us in a way that nothing else can. Having a strong support system is key to overcoming obstacles in addiction recovery.  

Now that we have discussed why hobbies are helpful, let’s look below to discover which kind of hobbies can best suit us. It can be difficult to discern. 

Active Hobbies 

Engaging in hobbies that get the body moving are extremely valuable for our overall health, especially while undergoing addiction treatment. This is because exercise can help speed up the body’s detoxification process and lead to more positive feelings. 

For some people, running long distances seems insane, yet to others, it can be therapeutic. It is sometimes referred to as the “runner’s high” where they experience euphoria and little fatigue after miles and miles of running. Running can help us because it is so good for our cardiovascular system. It can also bond us with others through trials, and give us a lot of time to talk to our friends and loved ones if we run together. 

While running may not necessarily be for everyone, there are other hobbies that help addiction recovery. One of them is yoga. Yoga engages the spiritual and mental side of exercise. Prostrating the body into various shapes and poses is actually very taxing work, and it can engage the core of our being as well as help us to relax, calm down, and reflect. 

Other active hobbies you can try are swimming, hiking, biking, or playing sports. 

Creative Hobbies 

Hobbies that are creative give us projects that make us feel like we have made something that contributes to the world in some way. Taking an art class, or just pursuing drawing, or writing, or whatever other creative hobby you enjoy is a great way to get our innermost emotions out on the table. 

Along with this, we can bring beauty into the world musically. Musical talent is something you practice, so picking up an instrument or vocal practice is something that you can do every day. This can also bond you with others if you find others to help teach you how to play your instrument, or just to jam with. 

Finally, journaling, writing poetry, or blogging are all great hobbies that are able to get our thoughts and feelings onto the page. 

Hobbies in Nature

Hiking is a great way to connect with nature. Experts often find that getting out into nature is a great way to improve our overall mood. Camping, fishing, or surfing are all ways we can appreciate the world around us.  

Along with this, spiritual practices like meditation are extremely beneficial to helping us be our fullest person. This is not simply sitting cross legged and humming, but more than that, it is simply the practice of being aware at all times, and this works especially well when done in a beautiful place such as at the beach or in a grassy area. 

Getting Help 

While hobbies are fantastic supports for addiction recovery, it is important to understand that you cannot treat yourself with them alone. Professional addiction treatment is the only true way to get help with your substance abuse problems. 

Addiction Treatment Services exists to help you find the right treatment program for you. We numerous locations to serve you and help you on the road to recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling (877) 455-0055. Please do not hesitate. Get started with your addiction recovery today.

Partial Hospitalization Programs For Addiction

Glennon Melton – Lessons from the Mental Hospital

Glennon Melton is the author of the bestselling book Carry On, Warrior as well as the founder of the Momastery blog. Her fans are lovingly called Monkees, and they share her brazenly open and honest communication.

Glennon introduces herself to her readers by saying “I’m a recovering bulimic and alcoholic. For twenty years I was lost to food and booze and bad love and drugs. I suffered. My family suffered.”

As a proponent of compassion for imperfections, she recently appeared at a TEDx (below) where she spoke about her struggles with addictions and disorders, including her trip to a mental hospital in high school.

Of the many things Glennon has helped her audience with, one of them is to recognize that it’s okay to have problems and to ask for help. Though her primary audience has mostly been women, her messages of courage and strength can resonate with anyone, whether it’s finding the confidence to face everyday obstacles in life or seeking help for addiction treatment.

Take a look at the video below for a taste of what she’s all about, and feel free to contact us if you or someone you love needs help for a substance abuse or mental health issue.