Right now, the opioid crisis is the highest it has ever been in the history of the war on drugs. People are succumbing to fatal overdoses at alarming rates, and lawmakers and law enforcement are scrambling for ways to crack down on the problem before it gets even more out of hand than it already is. The use of heroin has become a full-fledged epidemic, and it is rapidly increasing in popularity among teens and young adults because it is everywhere – and also because it is cheap.
That being said, in addition to heroin and fentanyl being at the top of everyone's news feed lately, there are other drugs that remain incredibly addictive and/or that are being abused at alarming rates. What follows is a list of the four other drugs that are presently the most commonly abused in the United States.
While all drugs are dangerous, methamphetamines are some of the worst. Yet, in spite of this, they are still one of the most commonly abused. What makes methamphetamines so dangerous is the fact that they significantly change the way a person thinks and feels within a relatively short time period. They also cause a significant rise in body temperature, which can result in heart problems and seizures.
Unlike some of the other drugs out there, it is often easier to spot a meth user due to the significant effect that meth tends to have on someone's appearance. Severe dehydration and chemical imbalance caused by chronic meth abuse can lead to skin lesions and a sallow appearance.
Alcohol is the most popular drug in the world for people over the age of 12 years old. A lot of this has to do with the fact that alcohol is so glamourized in the media and is so socially acceptable. Everyone from teenagers to adults are judged by their peers if they say they don't drink. However, most people underestimate the fact that alcohol severely reduces a person's motor functions, impinges his or her ability to make decisions, and can even be fatal in large amounts, not to mention the fatal accidents that often result from drinking and driving.
Cocaine is actually still pretty prevalent among young adults who live in wealthier areas. Cocaine requires the user to consume large quantities of it in order to feel its stimulating effects over a longer period of time, since it is actually a fast-acting stimulant. Cocaine can severely damage a person's organs, as well as organ systems like the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.
Despite the fact that marijuana is becoming increasingly legal – both in recreational and medicinal form – it is still illegal and is the most popular drug among American teens and adults alike. Marijuana impairs a person's memory function, as well as his or her focus and coordination, and research is currently being conducted into marijuana's long-term effects on the body in light of all of the recently passed legislation regarding its legalization.