ARTICLE OVERVIEW:No psychoactive drug is 100% safe. Yes, under medical supervision, some drugs can be beneficial to people in certain situations. However, EVERY drug holds potential for abuse. This article seeks to explore which drugs are the most dangerous and the threats involved in taking them. At the end, we invite you to ask questions.
There are two primary factors which allow us to better understand what makes a drug so dangerous:
1. How much harm it causes to the body and mind.
2. Its risk of addiction.
We can further separate harms to the body and mind into short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects of drug use are the immediate consequences that work against your health. These effects vary depending on the drug. For example, when someone takes heroin, a large amount of dopamine is released into the system. As the high begins to come down, the dopamine leaves your system and the brain needs time to refuel itself with natural dopamine. During this time, the user feels symptoms that are very similar to the flu (such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting).
Long-term effects are the health consequences which appear overtime after continuous use of drugs. This is a prime concern for people who struggle with addiction. Again, the exact effects depend on the drug of choice and how often/much you use. Common long-term symptoms of drug use include, but aren’t limited to:
If you’re using any of the following drugs, you’re not only at great risk of forming an addiction quickly…you also risk adverse health complications. The following list is a compilation of the most dangerous drugs our current market has to offer.
#8 – Heroin
At one point in history, heroin was prescribed as a painkiller for chronic pain. But because so many people could not control their use, the drug became illegal. Since its discovery in 1874, it’s been one of the most destructively abused drugs people have gotten their hands on. This is namely due to its intense euphoric effects which are highly addictive.
Since crack is cocaine with additives (such as baking soda), the additional chemicals make it a more dangerous drug than cocaine itself. Sometimes dealers cut crack with toxic ingredients. However, both have hazardous effects on the individual for both long and short term.
Since the high of the drug starts almost immediately, and fades after 10-12 hours, people tend to continuously dose in order to keep the high going. This kind of behavior is known as a “binge and crash” pattern and is very dangerous considering how consistently drugs are being put into the body.
Since AH-7921 isn’t very common, there’s a likely chance you won’t come across it. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s highly addictive and dangerous. AH-7921 is a synthetic opioid which has around 80% of the potency of morphine.
The health complications are very similar to heroin, but since it’s also a synthetic, there’s risk of causing respiratory arrest and gangrene.
#4 – Flakka
This is a newer drug which recently hit Florida’s Fort Lauderdale area. Also known as alpha-PVP, Flakka is a stimulant which has similar chemical structuring to amphetamines found in bath salts. The effects it has on the user are similar to cocaine, but 10 times stronger. These include:
Extreme agitation and violent behavior
Increased sex drive
Not only is Flakka extremely addictive, it also has serious risks to your harm. Unfortunately, since these drugs have only recently hit the market, there’s only so much known about how the amount of impairment it can do to the brain and body. However, researchers are aware that the consequences of Flakka are similar to the next drug on our list.
#3 – Bath Salts
This drug was originally sold online and used the term “bath salts” to disguise what it really is: cathiones. There isn’t enough research conducted for bath salts to fully understand the effects it has on the body for short-term and long-term use. However, clinicians at U.S. poison centers have discovered that some of the consequences to taking bath salts are:
Increased blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Furthermore, there’s been an alarming rate of ER visits due to bath salts. Though this drug is dangerous in itself, due to the fact that there’s so little known about it, people who take it are putting themselves at greater risks which may be unknown. If you or someone you know is taking bath salts, it’s important to seek treatment immediately.
Whoonga is one of a kind in the sense that it’s unlike most drugs in the illicit market. It’s a combination of antiretroviral drugs – which were created for the sake of treating HIV – and cut with other substances such as poisons and detergents. It’s not common in the United States, but has found prominent popularity in South Africa due to the high rate of HIV in South Africa.
Whoonga is highly dangerous towards your health and can cause:
Again, since this is a relatively new drug, little is known about the drug.
#1 – Krokodil
A recent drug which has been trending in Russia, Krokodil has affected over a million people. The problem with it is people have supplemented it for heroin due to its price – about a third of the price. The danger with Krokodil is it’s often homemade which can be very unsanitary and hosts a variety of ingredients including, but not limited to:
Industrial cleaning agents
Most people who take these toxic chemicals usually do so through injection. In turn, this has caused some of the following reactions to happen very soon after getting hooked on the drug:
Phlebitis, injury to the veins
Severe tissue damage
Spread of HIV
Krokodil hasn’t been seen widely in the United States yet, but is spreading through Europe rapidly.
Compulsive behavior during which the user has the inability to stop taking drugs despite the negative consequences it has had on their life.
It’s important to note that addiction isn’t a choice, but rather, a disease which is very hard to control. No one seeks to become addicted to drugs.
You may wonder whether you or someone you know is addicted to drugs. In order to find out, you can ask the following questions:
Are you unable to keep up responsibilities due to your drug use?
Has use of drugs affected previous activities you used to enjoy?
Have you continued to use drugs despite it causing problems in your relationships?
Have you ever tried to quit drugs without having success?
Do you find yourself craving to use drugs?
Do you spend a large amount of time thinking about, obtaining, or using drugs?
Do you find yourself engaging in risky sex or high-risk situations because of drugs?
If you or your loved one answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re most likely facing an addiction. It’s important consult a doctor as you don’t want to fall victim to certain health problems due to your addiction.
Basics to Drug Addiction Treatment
Though treatment works differently, depending on the drug you take, there are a variety of common patterns found in treating addiction. What usually differs is the amount of time a person undergoes treatment and the exact effects they’ll feel while being treated. Upon entering a treatment facility, you can expect the following:
1. A medical assessment in which you’ll be tested for a variety of things and asked an assortment of questions. The purpose of all this is to collect information of your current condition as a means of pursuing the best treatment options.
2. A medical detox in which your body will rid itself of the drug’s chemical structure and reform back to its homeostasis – withdrawals. It’s very important you’re under medical supervision during this time there are dangers when withdrawing from certain drugs.
3. Psychotherapies which are meant for treating underlying issues that are brought upon by drug use. These therapies are designed to teach you how to handle everyday emotions and life stressors without drugs being a factor in your life. You’ll also be educated in how to reduce drug cravings. Psychotherapies include:
◦ Family therapy
◦ Group therapy
◦ Individual counseling
4. Pharmacotherapy (medication) is meant for the sake of easing withdrawals and reducing cravings. The medication you receive all depends on the drug of addiction and how severe your addiction is.
5. Education sessions which are designed to inform you of the dangers in drug use and how to prevent relapse.
6. Aftercare services which provide additional support in order to maintain sobriety.
If you have any questions pertaining to the most dangerous drugs or how to treat drug addiction, we invite you to ask them below. If you have any advice to those struggling with addiction or wondering more about the most dangerous drugs, we’d also love to hear from you. We try to reply to each comment in a prompt and personal manner.