What is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is continuing the cycle of drug use, despite the negative consequences. Addiction occurs when the brain becomes reliant on drugs to raise dopamine levels. Millions of Americans suffer from a substance use disorder and in need of luxury rehab centers in Los Angeles, and it is crucial to receive treatment immediately.
Addictive drugs affect the pleasure center in the brain and provide a quick path to reward. In many cases, people use drugs to escape feelings of pain, whether it is physical or mental. Once people experience relief from pain, they keep using drugs to produce the same effect. Over time, people may become dependent on this drug and will experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings when the drug is not in their system.
Drugs have become an easily accessible commodity among people of all age groups and demographics. Due to the rise of online distribution channels, people are able to get their hands on addictive drugs whenever they want to. If you are medically prescribed certain addictive drugs, it is crucial to adhere to the doctor’s prescription.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, make an appointment with a professional treatment facility immediately.
What are the 10 Most Addictive Drugs?
Because the drug heroin is considered the most addictive, a heroin rehab program in Los Angeles is needed. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine. Morphine is a natural drug that comes from opium poppy seed plants. Heroin comes in the form of a white or brown powder that can be smoked, snorted, or injected. In many cases, it is mixed with a black substance referred to as “black tar”. According to the Central Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 9,173 people died from a heroin overdose in 2021.
The withdrawal symptoms of heroin are severe, and the chance of relapse is high. Flu symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia are some symptoms that occur when addicts quit using heroin. These symptoms often lead to relapse, as they can be overwhelming. However, with proper treatment, withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated.
The stimulant drug cocaine affects the central nervous system and those struggling with this drug are in need of cocaine addiction treatment in Los Angeles. It is known as the “party drug” because of the rush of dopamine it creates. Cocaine has become a popular street drug, which has led to many counts of overdose.
The drug is derived from the coca plant in South America. It is distributed in the form of powder and is typically snorted. A cocaine high only lasts for a short time, which leads to increased use.
Cocaine may be abused in a “binge” pattern, meaning people take doses back to back in order to avoid the feelings of a crash. Binging can cause extreme mental and physical fatigue, severe bouts of depression, and intense cravings.
Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs and is dangerous on its own. However, it can be deadly when mixed with other substances.
Illicit fentanyl is a synthetic version of heroin that has led to an overdose epidemic in America. Fentanyl is an extremely toxic drug that has been found mixed in with cocaine and other street drugs, leading to a major increase in overdose rates. It is manufactured in China and enters the US through the US/Mexico border. Large amounts of fentanyl are contained in the majority of batches, leading to highly toxic amounts of the drug being consumed by users.
Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that has been manufactured into rock form. This drug is smoked through a pipe and creates an immediate high. The high only lasts for around 10 minutes and causes users to have intense cravings after coming down. Using crack cocaine creates strong feelings of euphoria, but can lead to an intense depressive period afterwards.
Alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions that people suffer from. Alcohol can be found in nearly every store, leading people to believe it is not a drug. When you think of addictive drugs, alcohol may not be the first thing you think of. But drinking alcohol has the same effects on a person as many other drugs. It releases dopamine into the brain creating emotional highs and is highly addictive.
Alcohol use can get out of hand when people begin to rely on the substance to feel normal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe and may require intensive treatment. A condition called delirium tremens may occur when long-term alcoholics try to detox. The symptoms of delirium tremens are severe and can even lead to death.
Barbiturates are a category of prescription drug that is used to treat conditions such as anxiety. They are now prescribed much less often due to their addictive nature. Barbiturates are illegally sold on the street and are commonly referred to as “downers”. The drug is used to counter the effects of stimulant drugs such as cocaine and meth. The withdrawal symptoms of barbiturates are similar to alcohol.
Methadone is typically used to treat heroin addiction but can be highly addictive on its own. Anyone prescribed methadone should be closely monitored to ensure safety. Doses should be carefully administered so that patients are slowly weaned off the drug without developing a second addiction. Other less addictive medications such as Vivitrol can be used in place of methadone when treating heroin addiction.
Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine, which is one of the most toxic categories of drugs. Therefore, if someone is struggling with crystal meth, crystal meth detox is needed. Methamphetamine is man-made and extremely dangerous. The crystal form of meth is most commonly smoked but can also be snorted or injected.
The drug is extremely potent and has severe effects on the brain. It can invoke strong feelings of euphoria and pleasure but can also lead to extreme violence and irritability. Crystal meth can also induce states of psychosis.
Because crystal meth creates raised dopamine levels, the brain loses this function over time. When the brain is unable to produce sufficient dopamine on its own, people experience extreme depressive episodes. Withdrawal symptoms are severe and must be treated in a medical facility.
Amphetamines are stimulants that are legally prescribed for conditions like ADHD and ADD. Adderall is a type of amphetamine that is illegally sold on the street. Not only are these drugs extremely addictive, they can lead to a variety of unwanted side effects. Some of these side effects include trouble sleeping, heart problems, dizziness, and constipation.
Benzodiazepines are prescribed drugs used to treat people with anxiety. This drug is now commonly used in place of barbiturates. Xanax is a drug that falls under this category. Unfortunately, it is common for these drugs to be sold illegally, which can be extremely dangerous. If misused, benzodiazepines can be one of the most addictive drugs. Therefore, benzo detox in Los Angeles would be needed.
Benzodiazepines produce sedation and relaxation of the nervous system. It causes the body’s overall functioning to slow down. When these drugs are overused, functions such as breathing and blood circulation slow down. A benzodiazepine overdose can have fatal consequences.
Other Addictive Drugs to be Careful Of
The list above is made up of the ten most addictive drugs, but there are plenty more to be wary of. Just because they are not in the top ten most addictive drugs, does not mean they are safer to use. If you are offered any sort of drug or foreign substance outside of a doctor’s office, do not put it in your body.
Xylazine is a newer drug that’s just as deadly as fentanyl. Referred to on the street as “tranq”, xylazine is an animal tranquilizer that is approved for veterinary use. Because of its health effects, it is known as the “zombie drug”.
Xylazine is a sedative that causes lowered heart rate and breathing problems. Further, the drug causes severe skin ulcers that lead to rotting flesh. Xylazine overdose cannot be treated using standard overdose reversal methods.
Nicotine is another drug that can be purchased legally by anyone over the age of 21. The drug is typically smoked through rolled tobacco or an electronic cigarette. Studies have shown that tobacco and nicotine products have negative health effects, but these products are still widely accessible. Further, these products are easily passed along to minors who develop addiction early on.
The popularity of nicotine and tobacco products has led to an increase in nicotine addiction among teenagers. Nictone temporarily relieves feelings of stress and worry, but it causes intensified anxiety after the crash.
Westwind Recovery® Can Assist With Drug Addiction
Drug addiction can take control of your life before you even realize it. Millions of people suffer from this condition every day. It may feel embarrassing or shameful to admit that you have a problem, but the first step in recovery is seeking help. Substance use disorder is a disease and should be treated as such. If you are struggling to control the urge to relapse, look into our treatment options.
Located in Los Angeles, CA, Westwind Recovery® is here to help you meet your recovery needs. We work with clients individually to better understand their condition and create a treatment plan. Every client is different, which is why we prioritize specific, individual treatment.
Recovery is made much easier through treatment. If you or a loved one may benefit from our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.