Most illicit drugs are prohibited precisely because of their ability to take over people’s lives.
Chemical dependence is part of the basic function of the effects these substances have on the nervous system., And that does not make it easy to get away from it.
The 16 most addictive drugs
While the first few doses of these substances can produce an unpleasant sensation, the truth is that they eventually cause our brains to learn that they can only enjoy consuming the required amount of the drug. This, which depends on the reward system of the limbic system (the part of the brain responsible for producing emotional states) causes these addictive substances to dominate us.
However, not all addictions are the same. By experimenting with them, it influences our individual genetics, but also the characteristics of the chemical compound in question and the social rituals associated with its consumption. This is why some are more difficult to leave than others.
In this regard, a few years ago, researcher David Nutt from Imperial College London carried out a series of measurements on the addictive potential of various substances, in order to obtain an index of dependence. These are the 10 substances that have been classified in this classification, sorted by their addictive power.
Another drug which, along with ecstasy, is frequently used recreationally. This, however, has a very powerful hallucinogenic effect.
Although not generally known for its addictive effects, cannabis can be highly addictive in the long run.
14. Phencyclidine (PCP)
A drug with intense hallucinogenic effects. It is also known as angel dust.
Ecstasy or MDMA is one of the most popular and widely used recreational drugs in nightlife. After a certain threshold of frequency of consumption, this substance becomes very addictive.
Hypnotic-sedative drug which, in its form of recreational use (frequently synthesized clandestinely), is known as Quaaludes.
Oxycodone is a strong opioid pain reliever synthesized from thebaine. In the medical context, it is sometimes used in cases of severe pain, such as postoperatively.
This heroin-like drug acts on the brain’s reward system and causes a marked increase in dopamine levels.
Also known as gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, GHB it is a molecule produced in small quantities by our own body and that it is used as a neurotransmitter, that is, as a messenger for neurons to communicate with each other.
However, if we take a supplement of this substance, our tolerance level increases rapidly, forcing us to have more and more of it. In addition, it also has an effect on alcohol tolerance, and its rebound effect is very intense.
Amphetamines are psychostimulants related to the class of substances used to treat ADHD (such as methylphenidate). This drug causes the brain to flood with dopamine and norepinephrine, but in addition it is capable of generating one of the fastest addictions there is.
Anticonvulsant and hypnotic used in psychiatry in cases of anxiety disorders or epilepsy. It is known commercially by names such as Valium or Xanax.
If it can sometimes be very useful in intervening in neurological disorders, over time, it can generate a high degree of dependence.
A controversial substance, enjoying wide social acceptance and legalized by tradition. Although the first shots can be unpleasant to “burn your throat”, over time the degree of dependence can become very intenseTo the point where stopping use in cases of heavy dependence can lead to a syndrome called delirium tremens, sometimes fatal.
Barbiturates are brain activity depressants that are more potent than benzodiazepines. They lead to a high degree of sedation, Relaxation and also have some analgesic power. They act on receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA. In this category stands out a so-called secondary preparation.
Methamphetamine is a very popular synthetic drug used for the euphoria and megalomaniacal thoughts it produces. Like other psychostimulants, it causes the brain to fill up with dopamine and, at the same time, the production of this substance in smaller and smaller amounts by the body itself, which makes it totally dependent on the doses administered.
Methadone is used to intervene in cases of addiction to other drugs, but ironically shows a very high potential for addiction. It is used as a “minor injury” because the symptoms associated with this substance are less virulent than in most cases.
There are too many presentations. Nicotine is one of the great commercial successes, and it is based entirely on a chemical addiction fueled by a social addiction historically generated by advertising and its appearance in movies.
Cocaine is the most money-carrying illegal drug in the world. Its effects consist of feeling of euphoria that many people have learned to associate with their party nights, Although it is consumed in all kinds of settings.
Known as the drug of the poor, heroin is linked to high degrees of marginality and transmission of the disease. The urge to consume it because of the addiction it produces is so intense that aspects such as hygiene or health guarantees take a back seat.
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- Prague, Maria de l’Arme. (2001). Origins and effects of addictions. Mexico, DF: SEPT.