What Are the Most Commonly Abused Drugs and Substances?

Addiction to various drugs and substances among individuals of all age groups is becoming a concerning issue for health authorities. Whether you drink alcohol, snort cocaine, smoke marijuana, or take prescription drugs without using pill reminder app, there are risks that can go from severe addiction to death. Being aware of those risks can help you make choices that will have a positive influence on your health.

The response to these drugs may vary from person to person, depending on their physical and mental condition, as well as the substance they are taking.

In this article, we are going to discuss the most commonly abused drugs and substance. Understanding their impact on your body is simply the first step towards avoiding them.


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. Marijuana is often used through smoking and acts as a central nervous system stimulant, which causes it to raise pulse and blood pressure. The effect of this drug is so powerful that some people become paranoid while taking it. In the meantime, it can dull memory, making it harder to think or remember things.

Death from marijuana is rare, but its excessive use can prompt heart diseases and other cardiovascular issues. A marijuana joint contains a lot of harmful substances that go into your lungs and put you at the risk of respiratory issues such as severe cough and frequent lung infections. A marijuana joint may also contain various cancer-causing agents (carcinogens), however, a conclusive connection between cancer and marijuana has yet to be found.


It is a powerful, addictive stimulant, which gives the user a euphoric feeling. Depending on the person, the effect may or may not feel good. Some people who take cocaine find that surge as truly pleasurable, while some don’t really like it. The feeling of euphoria is brief and only lasts from 30 to 45 minutes.

Cocaine is typically snorted as a powder, but it can be transformed into rock form — known as crack —and smoked as well.  Cocaine tightens veins and accelerates the heart rate which are the primary reasons behind most cocaine-related deaths. Even taking it in smaller amount could be fatal. Sudden deaths from cocaine aren’t uncommon.


The moderate use of alcohol is harmless, however, using it in excess can cause serious health issues. Having more than one drink of alcohol for women or anyone aged above 65 or two daily drinks for men under 65 for a long term can put them at an increased risk of pancreatitis, liver damage, heart issues, and other illnesses.

Alcohol also has temporary health effects. Since it is an antidepressant, it can impair a user’s ability to make clear decisions. Furthermore, women who use alcohol during pregnancy may put the unborn child at risk of mental retardation, impaired vision, and other life-long illnesses.

According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 14 million people in the U.S. use alcohol inappropriately.


Although heroin is highly addictive, it’s possible to recover from it. However, recovery is not easy. It’s as difficult as it gets because heroin hijacks the brain, programming it to think it can’t function without the substance. As a result, the hijacked brain focuses on getting heroin on all costs, so much so that the users go to extreme lengths to feel that “high.” Many heroin users who try to beat addiction often return to it after some time.

The reason beating heroin addiction is so difficult is that it increases the amount of dopamine, a chemical in the brain which is responsible for feeling pleasure. When a person uses heroin, they experience a rush of pleasure and euphoria because of increased dopamine. Once the experience is over, many users want to feel it over and over again. This repeated use is what causes heroin dependency which often leads to heroin addiction.

The use of heroin should be stopped gradually and under proper guidance. Stopping it suddenly can result in withdrawal and be harmful to the body. Besides, leaving heroin on your own is difficult because it affects your memory and hijacks the brain’s motivational systems. This could easily produce a reverse effect in which your brain will relentlessly pursue the drug instead of trying to get rid of it.


Valium is a prescription drug which is commonly abused by teens and adults. If abused for a long time, Valium can lead to tolerance of the drug, causing the user to take higher doses without even requiring app for pills to produce the same effect. Also, long term abuse of this drug can result in dependence, meaning that you’ll experience withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking this drug.

In general, Valium withdrawal can be managed by a certified specialist through behavioral therapies, while in rare cases, prolonged treatment is required to kill the symptoms.


Percocet is another prescription drug that is widely abused by teens and adults. Percocet produces a euphoric effect and its abuse increases the risk for physical dependence and addiction. Those who abuse Percocet do it to enhance the euphoric effect, but doing so regularly can increase the risk for serious medical conditions as well.

A useful way to safely remove Percocet addiction is detoxification. It is a process which focuses on relieving withdrawal symptoms while the addicted user adjusts to being sober. After detox, the addicted user must undergo a long-term treatment that either incorporates taking a medication using medicine taking app or requires complete abstinence during the treatment program to enjoy a full recovery.