The Deadliest Drugs in the NationAlyssa
As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida, we know that drug overdoses are at an all-time high. Especially amid an opioid crisis, millions of Americans currently struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Some of the deadliest drugs in the United States include basic prescription drugs, making regulation difficult. While there are certain drugs well-known for their adverse effects, others on this list may surprise you.
Most Dangerous Drugs in the United States
The deadliest drugs in the nation include prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and deadly combinations of both. While many of these substances are considered safe, they’re often the top contributors to drug-related overdoses and death. The following is a list of the worst drugs in the U.S.
Benzos are prescription drugs used to treat seizures, anxiety, and insomnia. While many individuals are able to safely stop taking them after a short period, long-term use often increases tolerance and results in addiction. Because benzos are not only frequently prescribed to patients but cause problems with breathing as well, they’re one of the deadliest drugs in the nation.
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that is used recreationally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of cocaine-related overdoses tripled from 1.6 per 100,000 to 4.5 between 2013 and 2018.1 The most common health problems related to cocaine addiction include respiratory failure, kidney damage, and organ failure. The effects of cocaine on the heart also include vasoconstriction and pulmonary hypertension.
Heroin is a highly potent and addictive illicit opioid derived from morphine. In 2018, heroin contributed to the nearly 47,000 opioid-related deaths in the U.S.2 The side effects of heroin abuse include collapsed veins, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, and gastrointestinal problems. Because of its high potential for abuse, most heroin users require heroin addiction treatment in order to get clean.
Cough medicines like NyQuil and Theraflu are used to relieve common cold symptoms. While they’re often sold over the counter, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. One of the main ingredients in cough medicine is dextromethorphan, which is one of the drugs that cause hallucinations when taken in large doses. Hypoxia, which occurs when an area of the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, has also been linked to cough medicine misuse.
Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac are used to treat mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Long-term health problems related to mental illness and cardiovascular disease have been linked to antidepressants.
Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that attacks the central nervous system, affecting brain function and often causing dependency. Meth is infamous for causing severe tooth decay and dental problems, otherwise known as meth mouth. Methamphetamine abuse can also cause meth mites, hallucinations that make users believe that they have bugs crawling on their skin. That’s why most meth users are characterized by sores on their skin.
Most people who become addicted to methamphetamine require professional help in order to recover. At Seaside Palm Beach, we offer a luxury meth addiction treatment that addresses each facet of methamphetamine addiction.
Fentanyl is another prescription drug that falls within the opioid family and, like other opioids, it’s normally prescribed to treat severe pain. While symptoms of fentanyl abuse are similar to those of other opioids like heroin or oxycodone, it’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine,3 which means the side effects can be more severe and last longer. These symptoms include breathing problems, slowed heart rate, constipation, confusion, and muscle stiffness.
Morphine is another opioid on our list of the deadliest drugs in the nation. Similar to heroin and fentanyl, it’s highly addictive and can cause constipation, severe weight loss, abdominal pain, memory problems, and insomnia, among other health issues.
As with the other opioids on this list of the deadliest drugs in the nation, oxycodone is usually prescribed to treat patients with severe or chronic pain. Some of the side effects include apnea, hypoventilation, circulatory depression, and shock.
Most of the drugs on this list are prescribed by doctors themselves for a variety of ailments. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee that patients will not develop an addiction. Prescription drugs require patients to follow directions given to them by their doctor; misuse of any substance can easily spiral out of control, especially as these drugs are highly addictive.
If you or a loved one are battling a drug or alcohol addiction, call us now at 561-677-9374 to learn more about our luxury rehab in Palm Beach Shores.
- CDC – Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine: United States, 2009–2018
- CDC – The Drug Overdose Epidemic: Behind the Numbers
- NIH – Fentanyl