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7 of the Most Dangerous Drugs To Be Aware Of


Published: November 29, 2022

Every drug has the potential for abuse, and the dangers of these drugs can often be overlooked or minimized. However, some drugs stand out as particularly dangerous due to their high risk of addiction, physical consequences, and mental health effects. As the use of illicit drugs and alcohol continues to rise, it is important to be aware of the dangers they present. 

An Extensive List of Dangerous Drugs

In 2021, there were an estimated 107,622 overdose deaths in the United States, making substance abuse a critical public health issue. When it comes to using illicit drugs, an overdose isn’t the only thing to worry about. Drug-related deaths may also be caused by organ failure, traffic accidents, and other indirect effects of drug use.

In addition, drug use may lead to financial and legal issues, relationship problems, and mental health disorders. The following are some of the most dangerous drugs (in no particular order) that may lead to serious risks and consequences:

1. Heroin

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine. This drug presents lots of dangers due to its highly addictive nature and the ease of overdose. Heroin use may lead to a slowed heart rate, collapsed veins, and liver and kidney disease. Heroin also puts users at risk of HIV and other blood-borne illnesses. 

Quitting heroin is very difficult due to its severe withdrawal symptoms. This includes intense cravings, vomiting, muscle and bone pain, uncontrollable shaking, and cold flashes. In 2020 roughly 20% of all opioid deaths involved heroin. With such severe risks, it is essential to seek professional help if you are struggling with heroin addiction.

2. Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure. Cocaine use may lead to paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. In addition, long-term cocaine use may lead to permanent damage to the cardiovascular system and cause a fast or irregular heartbeat which may result in a heart attack. In 2019, nearly 1 in 5 overdose deaths involved cocaine. With over 5 million Americans reporting they used cocaine in 2020, this drug remains a significant public health issue.

3. Prescription Opioids

Although prescription opioids are intended to be used for pain relief after surgery or an injury, they also present significant dangers and are highly addictive. Common prescription opioids include oxycodone, codeine, and morphine. These drugs are incredibly easy to overdose due to the potency of some formulations.

Opioid abuse may lead to a slowed heart rate, respiratory issues, and death. If you are prescribed opioids for medical reasons, it is imperative to take them as directed and stop using them when the prescription ends. As the opioid crisis continues, it is essential to be aware of the risks associated with prescription opioids.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol is often thought of as a harmless substance, but it’s a leading cause of preventable death in America. Excessive alcohol use may lead to liver and heart disease, stroke, cancer, and depression. Furthermore, there are many risks outside of the physical health effects that come with drinking too much. This includes risky behavior such as driving under the influence, violence or sexual assault, and other dangerous activities. Each year, 140,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes.

5. Synthetic Marijuana (Spice)

Synthetic marijuana is a mixture of herbs and chemicals that is intended to mimic the effects of marijuana. Spice is often sold as incense or potpourri in convenience stores, gas stations, and online making them widely available, further adding to its danger. Despite the deceptive labeling, these substances can be hazardous and even fatal. Those who use spice are at risk for heart attacks and kidney failure. It is also important to note that synthetic marijuana is not regulated and may contain unknown ingredients, which add to the risks associated with this drug.

6. Fentanyl

This synthetic opioid is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and has been responsible for a significant number of overdoses in recent years. Taking even a small amount of fentanyl may lead to an overdose. Additionally, it is increasingly being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, making it one of the most dangerous drugs on the street. Fentanyl has been known to cause slowed respiration, reduced blood pressure, fainting, seizures, and death. Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased by 56% from 2019-2020.

7. Methamphetamine

This psychostimulant is highly addictive and affects the central nervous system. Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, ice, or crystal, is a man-made, powerful, and potent drug. Those who use the drug long-term may experience heart and brain damage, insomnia, mood swings, skin sores, and violent outbursts. According to 2020 data, 2.5 million Americans over the age of 12 reported using methamphetamine in the past year. The withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug make it difficult to quit, and relapse rates are often very high.

Seek Addiction Treatment with Rockland Treatment Center

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Rockland Treatment Center is here to help. We understand that battling an addiction can be overwhelming, and our qualified professionals are here to guide you on your journey to recovery. Our evidence-based treatment programs provide personalized strategies for each individual patient. If you or a loved one are looking to overcome addiction, please contact us today and begin your journey to sobriety.

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