What Are The Most Commonly Abused Drugs?

It is no secret that the United States has a growing drug abuse and addiction problem. Whether someone is using illicit substances such as heroin or hallucinogens, or ingesting perfectly legal substances such as alcohol or a drug they are prescribed, it is clear that people are abusing these substances more and more. Substance abuse often leads to clinical addiction, an insidious disease that not only impacts the user themselves, but their friends and loved ones around them. Addiction is not something people should take lightly, as being addicted to certain substances can be life threatening. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, drug overdose deaths in the United States have been nearing one million people since the year 2000. This may seem like a long stretch of time, but according to the CDC, drug overdose deaths in the United States have passed 100,000 annually in 2021. This means that a large percentage of these overdose deaths have been happening in just the last five to ten years, undoubtedly a troubling trend. So what are the most commonly abused drugs?   For those who suffer from addiction or know someone who is suffering, finding treatment can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. When someone is addicted to a certain substance, they are past the point of controlling their substance use, and it can take over their lives. If left unchecked, addiction can ruin not only the individual’s life, but it can seriously impact the lives of those around them. Understanding what the most commonly abused drugs in the United States are can help friends and families be more vigilant of their loved ones and spot the warning signs of substance abuse before it becomes deadly. Luckily, Sunshine Behavioral Health is here to help. Below is a curated list of the most commonly abused drugs, all of which Sunshine Behavioral Health can help individuals recover from.  


One of the most dangerous aspects of alcohol is that it is perfectly legal for adults over the age of 21 in the United States. The legal status of this drug often leads people to believe using it is harmless. Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the country, thanks to its legal status and accessibility. Alcohol abuse is a slippery slope and can lead to debilitating alcoholism. It can be incredibly difficult to quit drinking alcohol once dependent. Sunshine Behavioral Health offers comprehensive alcohol treatment programs at each of their locations. .  


Opioid addiction is one of the most deadly and is a pervasive issue throughout the country. . Part of what makes opioid addiction such a problem is that some variants are used to treat different medical emergencies, such as recovering from a severe injury or surgery. They will be prescribed by medical professionals and this leads people to believe they are safe to ingest. Unfortunately, a lot of opioid addiction stems from prescription opioid abuse. Once the prescription is depleted, people may still be dependent on its effects and will turn to illicit opioids to quench their cravings. Whether someone is using an illicit opioid like heroin or a prescription drug, Sunshine Behavioral Health can help find options such as therapy, support groups, or medication to fight opioid addiction and find hope.  


Similar to opioids, stimulants are accessible to people via prescriptions or illicit substances. Someone may be prescribed a stimulant like adderall or ritalin and use it as directed, but the feelings of pleasure and euphoria that stimulants can make people feel often reinforces drug seeking behaviors and can lead to abuse. Others who may not be prescribed stimulants like adderall have direct access to it via friends or family members and may start to abuse them that way. Sunshine Behavioral Health’s rehabilitation centers can help people quit abusing stimulants and find ways to feel good without drugs.  


Benzodiazepines (often referred to as benzos) are another prescription drug that individuals can easily become addicted to. They are used to treat common issues like anxiety and sleep disorders. Anyone who has access via a prescription, or knows someone who has a prescription, can easily obtain benzos to fuel their abuse. The “high” that individuals feel when using benzos is a feeling that leads people to continue using. Eventually, their substance use may become out of control and professional assistance may be needed to overcome their addiction. Sunshine Behavioral Health can help treat an individual’s cravings and help them learn to live without benzo use.  


Depressants are another tricky substance that is one of the most commonly abused in the United States. When used correctly, they can be life saving. They help treat people with severe depression and disorders such as anxiety, panic, and sleep. People often build a tolerance to these drugs and begin using more and more in order to achieve the desired effect. Unfortunately this increased usage often leads to abuse and eventually full addiction. Sunshine Behavioral Health understands the importance some of these depressants have, which is why they help people manage their medications and provide other assistance so people can live their best lives.  


Regardless of what people may say, marijuana is not a “harmless” drug. While the drug may not cause people to become chemically addicted, it is still one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. People can become so dependent on marijuana  which leads to abusing the substance. If left unchecked, marijuana use can become uncontrollable and can become a necessity. Sunshine Behavioral Health can help people end their reliance on marijuana and begin a life of sobriety.  


Barbiturates have begun to replace benzodiazepines in treating common issues like anxiety and sleeping disorders, but this doesn’t mean that they are harmless. Barbiturates are in fact an addictive substance and are one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. If usage is left unchecked, abusing them can be deadly. Sunshine Behavioral Health helps people fight their addiction to barbiturates.   Sunshine Behavioral Health’s goal is to help people overcome their substance addictions and begin living a life of sobriety. With multiple locations located throughout the United States, professional, luxurious, and affordable rehabilitation treatment is not hard to find. Visit Sunshine Behavioral Health today to learn more about our different treatment options and locations today. Take the first step towards recovery today!   Sources: https://unsplash.com/s/photos/pills

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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