Top 10 Most Common Drugs

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Learn about the most commonly used drugs in the U.S.

Drug abuse, both illicit and prescription, is prevalent and growing in the U.S. Substance abuse and addiction brings devastation not only to the addict’s life but also adversely affects his family, workplace and community. It is important for us to know about drugs so that we can bring awareness to others, both young and old. By working together we can raise drug awareness, promote prevention strategies and save tax-payer money spent on incarceration and legal costs. Here is a list of the top 10 most common drugs:

 

  1. Heroin is one of the ten most common drugs that are abused in the U.S. It is an opioid drug that is derived from the resin of the poppy plant, and has a high potential for addiction. It is sold as a fine white powder with street names that include: brown sugar, horse, smack, skag, hell dust, junk etc. Adverse effects of heroin include: a weakened immune system, weight loss, mood swings, heart and respiratory depression, sleep problems, liver or kidney damage, infection of the heart valves, anxiety, memory loss, delusions, hostility, and muscle and bone pain.

 

  1. Cannabis (marijuana) is a popular drug of choice among teenagers. Marijuana abuse among adolescents can cause a reduced IQ level in adulthood. The drug can impair short-term memory formation, learning, coordination and concentration. Other adverse effects of cannabis are: lung damage, increased heart rate, schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. Street names for the drug include: weed, pot, dope, Mary Jane, hash, doobie and bud.

 

  1. Cocaine is another one of the most commonly used illegal drugs in the U.S. Street names for the drug include: coke, dust, blow, rail, snow and line. Some of the dangerous effects of cocaine abuse and addiction are: heart and respiratory problems, impairment of the central nervous system and digestive system, paranoia, panic, anxiety, tremors, constricted blood vessels, bizarre behavior, violent mood swings, heart attack, seizures, stroke, coma and death.

 

  1. Prescription and over-the-counter medication abuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Some of the most commonly used drugs are: opioids, depressants and stimulants. Opioid medications are prescribed painkillers commonly known as: oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone and codeine. Depressant medications include: sedatives and tranquilizers. Stimulant medications include: amphetamines and methamphetamines.

 

  1. Bath salts are a part of the new, designer drugs that are being marketed in head shops, one the street, and online as legal household products. They are among the top ten most common drugs that are used recreationally, and can cause dangerous health complications. Some of the adverse effects of bath salts are: paranoia, hallucinations, agitation, delirium, psychosis, violent behavior and death.

 

  1. Hallucinogens are mind-altering drugs that can be unpredictable and dangerous. Some adverse affects of this most commonly used drug are: a distorted perception of reality, euphoria, hallucinations, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, panic, loss of coordination, hearing voices, confusion, extreme sweating, chills, fever, paranoia, convulsions, seizures and death.

 

  1. Amphetamines/Methamphetamines are among the most commonly used illegal drugs. Adverse effects of these drugs are: convulsions, malnutrition, increased respiration and blood pressure, brain function impairment, heart problems, rapid speech, psychosis, elevated body temperature, depression and seizures.

 

  1. Alcohol is one of the top ten most commonly used drugs in the U.S. Abuse and addiction to alcohol can cause: brain damage, malnutrition, anemia, infectious diseases, depression, organ damage, dementia, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and nerve damage.

 

  1. Inhalants are popular drugs of abuse among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. Inhalants can consist of: lighter fluid, glue, gasoline, spray paint, shoe polish, oven cleaners, and other toxic or volatile substances. These highly toxic products can cause: lungs and throat damage, burns to the mouth, nose, and larynx, and suffocation. Other problems include: a loss of hearing, touch, sight and consciousness, and damage to the central nervous system and brain. Perception can become distorted, breathing can become labored or cease and death can occur.

 

  1. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are among the top ten most common drugs to be abused. These steroids are a synthetic formulation of the male sex hormone testosterone. They are used to increase muscle mass and improve appearance and athletic performance. Long-term use of anabolic steroids may alter brain neurotransmission and the natural functions of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine. These steroids can dramatically alter mood and behavior, and can result in heart and liver disease, stroke, depression, infectious diseases, and suicide.

 

To promote the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, children and young adults should be taught about the dangers of dabbling in these substances. You can make a difference and promote awareness by making copies of this list of the top ten most common drugs that are abused in the U.S. and hand them out to friends and relatives. We can make an impact if we all work together.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please do not hesitate to call Better Addiction Care today at 1.800.429.7690 for help. We will answer any and all of your questions and assist you in finding the best rehab centers for your family’s needs.