Learn more about the top 10 illegal drugs affecting our society and families everywhere

Drug addiction is, plain a simple, a brain illness. It’s an uncontrollable disease that makes you seek the substance compulsively. When you consume drugs you are getting from the streets or a stranger at the clubs, you’re taking risks of how it will affect your body and impact you in the future. It’s even more dangerous to mix two different illegal drugs together as they both will have different background of how they react with you body chemistry. And, while it’s true that many start voluntarily, these top 10 illegal drugs can actually change your brain’s chemistry, making it almost impossible to resist.

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The Impact of Illegal Drugs

The most commonly used illegal drugs in the United States have caused an epidemic in the last few decades, prompting the development of legislation and rehabilitation programs to try to tackle the disease. Unfortunately, the rates truly are worrisome, and there hasn’t been a way to actually stop addiction. Specifically, 13.5% of Americans who are ages 12 and over use drugs in the last month, which is a 3.8% increase. With the increase in drug use, specifically opioid abuse, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expanded Medicare coverage to have it included for opioid treatment programs as of 2020. One of the leading causes of death in the United States is accidental drug overdose for people under the age of 45. Although everyone has a different response to overdosing with their body, some of the main symptoms one might experience during it are: unconsciousness, slowed respiration, cyanosis, pinpoint pupils, and cold, clammy skin.

Overall, any type of drug you possibly could overdose on has the same ways you can recover while waiting for the ambulance to come. After calling 911, you need to put an unconcious person in a recovery position while waiting for help to come. The recovery position consists of placing the person on their side, bending their knees (in the fetal position) and resting their head on top of the arm closest to the floor.

Knowing which ones are the most abused illegal drugs and their effects can be part of a good prevention plan, as is being able to have an open dialogue with our children, teenagers and even our peers to provide support and guidance, when necessary. In order to be able to have a proper and informed conversation about these illegal drugs and their effects, lets look at the top 10 illegal drugs that are currently affecting our society with tremendous force:

  1. Crack Cocaine
  2. Heroin
  3. Methamphetamine
  4. Bath Salts
  5. Cocaine
  6. Amphetamines
  7. Methadone
  8. Benzodiazepines
  9. Ecstasy
  10. Marijuana

These top 10 illegal drugs, have landed on this list because of dangerous effects they produce when consumed. Also, despite their illegality, these are the ones more commonly produced and sold throughout the country. It’s important to not give into peer pressure to avoid trying illegal drugs that can potentially cause an addiction in the future. Sometimes it’s unavoidable though depending on the environment you have grown up as a kid and are surrounded by the illegal drugs on a daily basis, whether it’s from a parent using it or another family member using drugs near you as a child.

The Side Effects of Illegal Drugs

The effects produced by the most commonly used illegal drugs are many and, in many cases, they can cause irreparable damage. If an addiction to any of these substances is not treated immediately and addressed appropriately, it can be lethal for the abuser.

illegal drugs overdose

To understand the danger surrounding them, one only has to look at the illegal drugs and their effects, which can be perceived after a single dose of any of them.

  1. Crack cocaine: Cocaine is considered a stimulant drug that comes from the coca plant leaves in South America. People usually use it to give them energy, happy and alert. Some of the effects of cocaine are severe stress on the heart, the lungs and the brain. Produces blood vessels rupture, hardening of the arteries and leads to stroke and heart failure. As for the overdose symptoms, they are seizures, hallucinations, delirium, violent behavior, hyperthermia, arrhythmia, chest pain, breathing difficulty, and coughing up blood.
  2. Heroin: Heroin is an opioid and related to the opium poppy plant. When overdosing on heroin, it can give you the symptoms of extreme drowsiness, small pupils, passing oout, hypothermia, slow breathing with blueish gray lips and fingertips, cold, clammy skin, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.  Some effects of heroin are collapsed veins, infection of the heart valves, liver and kidney damage, bone pain, higher risk of contracting Hepatitis and HIV.
  3. Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is primarily used to treat ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you take this prescription drug with it not being properly prescribed to you and you overuse, causing overdose symptoms. Some of the overdose symptoms are being aggressive, agitation, angry, blurred vision, dark urine, blurred vision, fainting, and fast breathing. Some of the side effects are severe anxiety, confusion, weight loss, tooth decay, paranoia, hallucinations, violent and erratic behavior.
  4. Bath Salts: Bath salts are under the synthetic stimulant drugs. The symptoms of overdosing on bath salts are rapid heart rate, paranoia, seizures, coma, stroke, delusions, psychosis, and stroke. Some of the side effects of bath salts are agitation, hallucinations, violent behavior, breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, kidney and liver damage.
  5. Cocaine: Cocaine has the same overdose symptoms as crack cocaine, it’s just made differently. Some of the effects of using cocaine are nasal damage, loss of sense of smell, infection and death of bowel tissue, paranoia, psychosis, heart attack, stroke, seizure, coma.
  6. Amphetamines: Amphetamines are usually prescribed by doctors to treat the conditions attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The overdose symptoms for amphetamines are racing heartbeat, stoke, heat attack and death, not being able to urinate, and getting chills or fever. Some of the effects of amphetamines are experiencing panic attack, psychosis, convulsions, anxiety, changes in weight, headaches.
  7. Methadone: Methadone is used primarily for treating severe, chronic pain. Some of the symptoms of overdosing on Methadone are swelling in your legs and ankles, cold, clammy skin, increased sweating, pale or blue lips, and irregular or slow heartbeat. Some of the effects of methadone are slow or stop breathing, nausea and vomiting, itchiness, severe sweating, stroke, coma.
  8. Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are used primarily to make your nervous system less active. There is a decrease in the nervous system activity.  Some of the overdose symptoms of benzodiazepines are slurred speech, extreme drowsiness, uncoordinated movements, and loss of consciousness. The symptoms of consuming benzodiazepines are impaired cognition, impaired motor function, tremors, nausea, lethargy, depression, sleeplessness, memory problems.
  9. Ecstasy: Ecstasy is stimulant drug with hallucinogenic substance in it. Some of the overdose symptoms of ecstasy are sleep disturbances, and confusion and memory loss. confusion, depression, memory loss, anxiety, agitation, severe rise in body temperature, heart failure, heat stroke.
  10. Marijuana: Marijuana comes from the Cannabis plant and causes mind-altering effects that make you feel high. The overdose symptoms of marijuana are increased heart rate, hallucinations, memory problems, chronic cough, panic attacks, psychosis.

When one suffers from an addiction to any of these most commonly used illegal drugs, a thorough detoxification process and rehabilitation treatment is necessary to be able to overcome the abuse problem and recover. It’s important to seek addiction treatment right away to treat the addiction of illegal drugs and get it under control. The best way to do this is to enroll in a rehab like WhiteSands Treatment. Call them today at 877-640-7820 to enroll in rehab.

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.