The reality is that all drugs cause harm. While the damage may come in a variety of different forms, the mere habit of drug abuse will eventually destroy individual users. In addition, most of the drugs typically abused, cause harm on societal levels as well.
The Most Damaging Drugs
There exists a fine line between what distinguishes an experimental bout with a drug and that of a dangerous addiction. Even less discernible is when that addiction is deemed a pattern of abuse. Each year millions of Americans find themselves walking that line. Out of curiosity or peer pressure, individuals may experiment with any number of drugs. With the initial experience of relaxation or liberation, individuals may then cultivate habits involving certain drugs. While individuals will differ vastly in the specific types of drugs they abuse, the innate harm is universal. The most harmful drugs of addiction are the following:
Alcohol: The Easy-Access Drug
Legal or not, the more often individuals use a drug, the more susceptible they become to the potential health risks. According to a study conducted by the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, nearly 88 percent of adults over the age of 26 drink alcohol. Of all the potential drugs to abuse, alcohol is the most accessible. Once individuals turn 21, they are granted full freedom to experiment with any number of alcoholic beverages. The easy accessibility coupled with the inability to moderate make alcohol a potentially harmful substance for many.
Because many individuals have a difficult time stopping after a single drink, the initial benefits of alcohol are soon dismissed by its negative qualities.
The classic definition of moderate drinking entails a single 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 2-ounce serving of hard liquor. Beyond the moderate amount, alcohol naturally relaxes inhibitions, enabling individuals to make impulsive and poor decisions, including drinking and risky sexual behavior.
Cocaine and Heroin: Addictive and Lethal
While dangerous, cocaine and heroin are harmful for reasons different than those of alcohol and tobacco. Recent data suggests that roughly 16 percent of the American population over the age of 26 had used cocaine. Research suggests similarly low percentages of heroin users. Despite the low percentage of people who report using cocaine and heroin, both drugs are incredibly lethal. Thus, many individuals who use cocaine and heroin either combine them with other drugs or overdose. In addition, some individuals contract HIV/AIDS from injecting heroin. Users also sometimes couple their drug abuse with alcohol, and this may lead to death.
Tobacco and Lung Cancer
Nicotine is currently the most addictive drug commonly used. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that, in the United States, cigarette smoking is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer incidents. Equally astounding is that secondhand smoke accounts for 38,000 deaths each year.
Similar to alcohol abuse, smoking is a difficult habit to moderate. Due to the addictive qualities of nicotine, many individuals are unable to quit smoking, despite their desire to do so. The longer an individual smokes, the more likely it is that he or she will continue to smoke as a stress relief and coping device. Similar to other addictive drugs, over time, smokers will require higher doses of nicotine in order to reap the same benefits.
If you’d like information on how to stop using harmful addictive drugs, contact us here at The Oaks at La Paloma today.