The 8 Most Commonly Abused Drugs and Why

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August 21, 2012

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The 8 most commonly abused drugs and why

Commonly abused drugs

What makes these drugs so popular?


Why are we so interested in a list of drugs that are most commonly abused? Maybe it’s because we are a vicarious culture and from adolescence to adulthood we seek things that feed our curiosity. Those of us who have direct or indirect experience with addiction may read about drugs to see which ones we want to try. Unfortunately, this curiosity can be a catalyst for addiction in the future.
The 8 most commonly abused drugs are:

  1. Marijuana
  2. Alcohol
  3. Stimulants – (Cocaine, Meth)
  4. Ecstasy
  5. Opiates – (Heroin, OxyContin, Percocet)
  6. Benzodiazepines – (Xanax, Valium)
  7. Hallucinogens – (LSD, Psychedelic Mushrooms)
  8. Solvents – (Rubber cement, gasoline, glue)

All of these drugs are addictive to varying degrees and will require different approaches to drug treatment. These drugs have different roots; some are natural, some are derived from natural resources and others (often the most dangerous) are purely chemical and man-made. All of these drugs will require drug rehab to help eliminate patterns of substance abuse and stabilize the physical and emotional disruptions they cause.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable,and painful but it is a small price to pay to be drug free. Lakeview Health’s medical team will help the addict comfortably detox.
  • Natural Resources – This can include marijuana, opium and psychedelic mushrooms. Natural drugs are considered those substances that are occurring organically in our surroundings.
  • Derived from Natural Resources – This includesheroin and cocaine.
    • These drugs come from natural resources and then are modified with man-made chemicals.
  • Chemicals – Ecstasy, solvents, LSD, meth, and benzodiazepines are
    • Considered man-made drugs usually made in a laboratory.

Why are these drugs so popular?

Many of these drugs are inexpensive and readily available increasing their popularity among users.

  • Solvents are available in hardware stores and most convenience stores. For this reason it is mostly teens who abuse solvents more often because of the easy access to purchase them.
  • Alcohol is another inexpensive, easily accessible, and legal drug. It is often referred to as a social liquid lubricant and seems less taboo than other drugs.

Some of these drugs listed below were initially created or used for either medicinal or government purposes:

  • LSD was originally used as a “truth serum” for the government.
  • Methamphetamines were given to soldiers in World War 2 to help with fatigue and depression.

Some drugs give powerful euphoric or sedating effects when abused. Addicts will doctor shop, having many doctors prescribing them pills to support their habit, such as:

  • Opiates which is an extremely effective short term painkiller; however, they are also highly addictive.
  • Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and valium, are also highly abused among drug addicts because of their addictive nature.

Many of the drugs on this list require a medically supervised detox because of the withdrawal symptoms that ending use will produce. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful but it is a small price to pay to be drug free. At Lakeview Health our medical team will address symptoms as they arise to help the addict comfortably and safely detox.

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