5 Commonly Used Drugs

 In Drugs

Drug abuse and addiction are prevalent concerns across the country. Drug use is on the rise and it is increasing at an alarming rate. While there are many different types of drugs being used, I am going to focus this article on the top five commonly used drugs.


Alcohol is acceptable in most societies. It is even acceptable to drink in excess publicly. For these reasons, it can be challenging to know when someone has an addiction to alcohol. It is also difficult to separate yourself from alcohol. There are commercials on TV and it is present at just about every function you attend. You may be able to remove alcohol from your life, but you cannot remove it from your world. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states in 2015, over 80 percent of people over the age of 18 have had a drink. In that same year, over 26 percent of that group have engaged in binge drinking. They also estimate around 88,000 people die from alcohol-related reasons per year. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the US.

When a person abuses alcohol there are a lot of negative symptoms that can occur. They can damage their liver and potentially overdose from alcohol. They may also have alcohol poisoning. Driving while under the influence of alcohol has taken the lives of thousands each year.


Followed closely behind alcohol addiction is marijuana addiction. More states are legalizing the use of this drug, which is making it more socially accepted. However, just because it is legal in some places does not make addiction to it any less possible. The potency of marijuana has increased over the past century which could explain why the rate of addiction has increased. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown that those as young as 8th grade have used marijuana in their lifetime. The prevalence and ease of acquiring it is astounding.

Marijuana has been proven to decrease short term memory and inhibit learning, coordination and the ability to focus. It increases your heart rate and can damage your lungs since it is being inhaled. It has also been known to increase psychosis for those who are vulnerable to it. Even though it has been approved in some states for use for medicinal purposes, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it.

Prescription Medication

Close to two million have an addiction to prescription medicine. These medications are commonly prescribed for pain. In the past, they have been prescribed regularly by doctors without much thought. Prescription medicines are opiates, which are derived from opium. Opium is found naturally in poppy seeds. This medication is incredibly calming and people tend to overuse it.

It is easy to gain a tolerance to prescription medication and feel like it is no longer helping with the pain. When this happens, people often take more drugs. When the amount of the drug continues to increase, people become dependent on it. This dependence turns into cravings that cannot be controlled without taking more of the drug.


Cocaine use is declining in the US, which is a great thing. However, people are most likely turning to other sources of drugs instead of cocaine. Cocaine is really expensive and incredibly addictive. One in four people who try cocaine become addicted to it. Crack cocaine is another type of cocaine. It is cheaper and gives a more intense high than just cocaine. It is often laced with other things that can be deadly when ingested into the body.

It has a euphoric quality to it when you use it. It makes you feel like you want to party, however it can really damage the brain. It can be snorted, smoked, or inhaled depending on the form you have of the drug.


Heroin is an incredibly addictive drug. You have terrible withdrawal when using heroin which makes users want to continue to use it. They quickly become addicted more to avoiding the withdrawal than anything else. Heroin abuse has been rising among women. Heroin is another opiate that sends signals to the brain that makes you feel the same sensation as when you have been rewarded. It makes you feel good and releases endorphins into your body. Typically heroin is injected with a needle and those with this addiction often participate in risky behavior such as sharing needles. Upon injecting the drug, the user feels an intense rush and then the high can last up to four hours. Heroin is incredibly addictive and challenging to overcome.

If you or a loved one are struggling with any of these substances you need to reach out as soon as possible. At Victory Detox, we are here to help and would love nothing more to see you get sober.

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