How to Judge the Most Dangerous Addiction

different drugs of abuse

Every addiction is different, every person addicted to drugs is different. How can one addiction be compared to another to determine which one is the most dangerous addiction?

The list of potentially addictive substances is long. There’s cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, morphine and other opiates, marijuana, prescription painkillers like OxyContin and hydrocodone, stimulants like methamphetamine or prescription drugs Ritalin or Adderall, and of course alcohol. Club drugs like GHB, Ecstasy, LSD, and Rohypnol add more items to the list of drugs that can cause a dangerous addiction.

Most of these drugs can cause overdoses and some can simply cause such stress on the body that the heart can fail or the liver can be damaged. Even something as legal and available as alcohol can kill outright.

How to measure a dangerous addiction? By its potential to kill? That’s one index. The amount of ruin visited on a person as a result of seeking and using that drug is another way. A third way would be to measure the destruction received by other people in the environment. Children around an addict can be injured, maimed or even killed. Even if not harmed physically, children can suffer damaging neglect and mental abuse. Spouses can be abused and even members of the community may be endangered if the individual becomes paranoid or aggressive.

Different Drugs or Multiple Drugs Affect People Differently

Unfortunately, the norm for drug use in the last few years has become polydrug use. In other words, the person using cocaine also uses alcohol, Ecstasy, marijuana and perhaps even prescription drugs. This is an intensely DANGEROUS habit, as if there are any physical problems that need treatment as a result of the drug use, medical personnel would have an impossible time untangling the complex pattern of drug effects.

Some people on methadone maintenance treatment still continue to abuse heroin and add cocaine to the mix. These strong chemicals place terrible stresses on the heart, the liver, and the central nervous system.

Even in the middle of fluctuating drug usage or polydrug use, there is often one drug that finally hooks a person, eliminating his or her ability to resist the cravings. Sometimes substance abuse will go on for years before it turns in to this kind of addiction. It might be heroin or the intensely addicting crack cocaine or methamphetamine. For a college student, it might be the Ritalin or Adderall they take so they can stay up all hours to study.

The most dangerous addiction is the one that the person throws his or her life away for. The one they can’t leave behind when they want to. The one that overwhelms. Different people have different weaknesses so the patterns vary greatly.

Break Free from Drug Addiction

While the patterns of addiction have a great variety, there is a sure path to recovery for most people. That is the Narconon drug rehabilitation program available on six continents. In Russian, Mexico, the US, Australia and other countries, those who lost the power of choice can recover sobriety.

The Narconon program consists of life skills classes that have a definite outcome. These are not drug rehab meetings or a program where people share their drug-taking histories or get confrontational as a supposed method of therapy. It’s all about learning how to develop the skills that will keep one sober. It takes learning which associates may cause one to abandon the plan to stay sober and which ones will support sobriety. It also takes knowing how to deal with life’s daily challenges without feeling the need for a pill or drink.

Most people complete the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in ten to twelve weeks. Find out how this program can help someone you care about recover from their dangerous addiction.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.