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What Are the Most Abused Drugs in the U.S.?

It’s easy to believe that the majority of drugs that are abused in the U.S. are illicit and illegal substances. We also believe that everything we are prescribed by our doctors and pharmacists is safe and harmless. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many substances that are abused aren’t simply illicit drugs, they may not even be drugs at all. Many abused drugs aren’t part of what we think of as “illegal drugs”. To understand drug abuse and how to get treatment, we need to know what the most abused drugs in the U.S. are and how they are classified. 

Knowing What Are the Most Abused Drugs in the U.S. 

We all probably know some of the big illicit drugs that are abused in the U.S. but we’ve put together a short list of the most abused drugs and their characteristics. 

Cocaine – Cocaine is an anesthetic that is made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. In rare cases, it is still used as an anesthetic in medical procedures but most commonly it is snorted or injected to produce a high. 

Heroin – We all probably have heard of heroin as one of the “harder” drugs that can be abused. What you may not know is that heroin is in the opioid family of drugs. Like many prescribed medications such as oxycontin, heroin is a pain reliever that produces a euphoric effect on the user when taken. 

Inhalants – This category is one that often goes unnoticed, an inhalant can be anything that can be inhaled through the nose or mouth, that in large quantities can produce a high. This can be anything from paint thinner and other chemicals,  to cleaning supplies and scented markers. 

LSD – LSD is a hallucinogenic fungus that grows on different types of grains. It is taken as a tablet or paper squares and ingested through the mouth tissue to produce a sense of euphoric sensation that leads to a high. 

Marijuana – Often called cannabis or weed, it is a derivative of the hemp plant and can be made into a variety of products such as food and medicine, or the leaves can be smoked similarly to tobacco. The main addictive ingredient is called THC. While many states have legalized the medicinal or recreational use of marijuana, it still produces a high and is illegal in some places. 

Alcohol – Easily the most widely used and readily available substance in the U.S. alcohol is made from a variety of plants and other materials and has a drastic effect on the brain including mood alteration, slowing of reflexes, and other problems. It is also one of the most legally attainable abused substances in the U.S. 

These are just a few of the most abused drugs in the U.S. but all of them can lead to addiction and further health problems. 

What Is the Best Way To Get Help for a Drug Addiction? 

There are several treatment options available for drug addiction, however, some are more effective than others. It is often recommended to seek professional medical help from an addiction treatment center that is focused on addiction recovery. 

The most common form of addiction therapy starts with detoxification. Detox is the first step on the road to addiction recovery and involves different medical steps to remove the addictive substance from the body. 

After the detox is complete, the road to treatment begins. Treatment can involve inpatient or outpatient therapy or a combination of both. This can involve residential stays, group therapy sessions, one on one counseling, and more. Treatment is the foundation that leads to recovery. 

Once the initial treatment is completed, it’s important to have the proper aftercare plan in place to keep on the path to sobriety. This can include planning for what to do in the case of relapse, sharing sobriety with a community group, and counseling on how to adjust to living sober. 

Let Hillside Mission Recovery Guide You on the Path To Sobriety 

Successfully overcoming addiction means having the right treatment and support for you. The professionals at Hillside Mission Recovery can custom tailor a treatment plan for you that will help overcome your drug or alcohol abuse and work with you to stay sober for the long haul. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Hillside Mission Recovery to discuss your treatment options today.