Most Abused Recreational Drugs

Know which are the most abused recreational drugs and how they can harm you

The recreational use of drugs in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, and is affecting the lives of individuals, families and communities. As a nation we have to promote more awareness about this problem and familiarize ourselves with the facts about the most abused recreational drugs. Below is a list of recreational drugs and their effects on the individual:

1.) Alcohol – Alcohol is one of the most abused recreational drugs in America and is used to socialize with family, friends and business associates. It is also used to relax and unwind from stress and also to celebrate all types of happy and important occasions. Alcohol intoxication is used to escape from problems, pain, mental disorders, sadness and depression. It is often used by adolescents and teens that are coerced by peer pressure or other reasons. Alcohol abuse can have devastating effects on the mind and body, such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, dementia, liver disease, malnutrition, anemia, pancreatitis, nerve damage, depression and high blood pressure.


2.) Heroin – Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world and also one of the most abused recreational drugs in the U.S. The drug is an opiate that floods the brain with dopamine affecting neurotransmissions in the brain and altering the natural flow of dopamine. It causes intense cravings and withdrawal effects. Some of the serious effects of heroin include liver or kidney disease, collapsed veins, pneumonia, miscarriage, neo-natal complications, heart rate and respiratory depression, coma and death.


3.) Marijuana – Marijuana is a popular recreational drug that causes feelings of euphoria and enhanced sensory perception. It may cause problems with balance and coordination, slow down reaction time, impair memory formation and learning, and increase the heart rate and appetite. The drug may also cause mental problems, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks and psychosis.


4.) Cocaine – Another of the most abused recreational drugs is cocaine, which is made from the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that has many effects on the user which include: narrowed blood vessels, increased heart rate and body temperature, insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, psychosis, erratic or violent behavior, panic attacks, paranoia, heart attack, stroke, seizures and coma.


5.) MDMA MDMA, also known as Molly and Ecstasy on the street is a synthetic psychoactive drug. Some of the dangerous effects of MDMA are: a sharp rise in body temperature that may cause heart, kidney and liver failure and death, confusion, depression, anxiety, impaired memory and attention, impulsiveness, aggression, and the risk of cell or organ damage. MDMA is a popular club drug among teens and young adults.


6.) Methamphetamine – Methamphetamine is a potent stimulant that has a high abuse and addiction potential. Some of the health effects that the user may experience are: increased energy and alertness, anxiety, confusion, irregular heartbeat, weight loss, delusions, paranoia, violent behavior and mood swings. The drug also increases the heart rate, breathing, body temperature and blood pressure.


7.) DMT – DMT is a synthetic drug that produces an intense hallucinogenic experience for the user. Some of the effects of this drug are an altered perception of time and body image, auditory distortions, hypertension, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, dizziness, seizures, respiratory arrest and coma.


8.) Tobacco – Tobacco is the most abused recreational drug and it is highly addictive. Some of the possible health effects of tobacco include increased heart rate, breathing and blood pressure, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, pneumonia, lung and mouth cancer, emphysema and leukemia.


9.) Bath Salts – Synthetic cathinones, more commonly known as bath salts, are an emerging group of drugs that are being packaged and sold as legitimate products. These drugs are powerful stimulants that are highly addictive and cause intense cravings. Some effects of synthetic cathinones are: confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, violent behavior, suicidal ideation, brain damage, and coma and tissue death.



There is a difference between recreational drug use vs addiction. A recreational drug user can easily say “no” to drugs when they are offered to him. He doesn’t use drugs for an escape or as an empowerment tool. He usually has a good sense of himself and has good relationships with his family, friends and co-workers who are not drug users. He does not view drugs as something he has to have.

Recreational drug addiction makes it very difficult for the addict to stop using drugs or reduce his intake. The addict tends to associate more with other drug users and begins to withdraw from his straight family and friends. He may find that his drug addiction is destroying his normal relationships, especially with the family, spouse or children. Addicts are obsessed with getting and using drugs and spend most of their money on drugs.

It you are having difficulty with drug abuse or addiction you can receive the proper treatment from medical professionals at a drug rehab center. You owe it to yourself to stop using drugs now, before the effects of the drugs can seriously harm you.



If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.