What is the Most Addictive Drug?

What is the Most Addictive Drug?

For someone with an addiction, any drug can be addictive. But some drugs have the potential to be more addictive than others. In this blog post, we look at the most addictive drug that someone can take and find out why these drugs are so addictive.

If you have become addicted to drugs and need support, give Samarpan a call today. We can help you recover from your addiction, no matter what drug you are addicted to.

The Most Addictive Drugs in The World

Below is a list of the most addictive drugs. These are the drugs that are most likely to cause dependence in someone who begins using them.


Heroin is certainly one of the world’s most addictive drugs. It is made using the opium poppy, which is grown predominantly in Afghanistan but also in Burma. While opium itself is an addictive drug, when it is refined into heroin it becomes far more potent and addictive.

Users usually take this drug for the drowsy euphoria and anxiety reduction that comes from taking it. After a period of taking it consistently, though, the pleasant feelings from taking heroin are reduced, as tolerance kicks in. When someone takes heroin for a long period of time, they develop withdrawal symptoms when they do not have it.

Heroin withdrawal causes vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome, and many more unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms can be bad enough that heroin users will continue using the drug despite wanting to quit. This is why medication-assisted treatment found at rehabs can be so useful. It helps wean heroin users off heroin slowly so that they won’t feel withdrawal symptoms so acutely.

Research conducted by eminent addiction specialist Doctor David Nutt in 2007 found that dependence potential from opioids like heroin was the highest of any drugs. It is perhaps opioid-type drug’s ability to block out symptoms of trauma that cause this dependence, and a reason why it is so important to deal with trauma when stopping all drug use.


In the past twenty years, fentanyl has replaced heroin in some parts of the world as the most commonly abused non-prescription opioid. This drug has a similar effect to heroin, but while heroin is manufactured using opium poppies, fentanyl is synthesized in a lab. By weight, it is far more potent than heroin.

Fentanyl can be considered the most addictive drug, but it is also perhaps the most deadly drug. Overdoses from fentanyl have been the driving force behind the massive increase in opioid deaths in the United States for the past two decades.

Crystal Meth

This synthetic drug causes users to feel elated, with high energy levels. Users often take this drug by repeatedly smoking, snorting or injecting in long sessions that can last for days. During these sessions, users do not sleep and often do not eat either. This places tremendous stress on the body and results in a several-day comedown.

While crystal meth does not have a withdrawal profile that is as severe as the opioids listed above, users do feel depleted for a long period of time following cessation. Crystal meth, like other addictive drugs, can cause Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). This is a period following acute withdrawal where some withdrawal symptoms can still be felt.

When someone has PAWS from crystal meth, it is common to feel depressed, bored, and have cravings for meth. This may last for up to two years after drug use stops. This is why crystal meth can be thought of as the most addictive drug, as during this period it is common for users to relapse.

Crystal meth use can also cause changes in the brain that lead to greater impulsivity, which makes it even more challenging for people recovering from this addictive drug to stay clean.

It is absolutely vital that someone stopping long-term meth use goes through a rehab program that involves relapse prevention, as it can be particularly difficult for former meth users to stay clean during this initial PAWS period.

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is made from the leaves of the coca plant. It causes users to experience feelings of extreme confidence and high energy. Repeated use is followed by a crash. The high from powder cocaine lasts from between 30 minutes to an hour, which means that users must repeatedly use the drug to maintain their high.

Crack cocaine is cocaine that has been cooked with baking soda to make it easy to smoke. The high from crack cocaine is more powerful and short-acting than cocaine, as crack cocaine floods the brain with even more dopamine than cocaine. This also makes crack cocaine more addictive than powder cocaine. The initial rush from crack cocaine lasts only a couple of minutes.

Both of these forms of cocaine are incredibly addictive and can cause severe damage to the cardiovascular system when used over a period of time.


Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, are drugs that are most commonly prescribed for anxiety. However, many drug users take these drugs to get high. Like opioids, benzos are downers, which cause sedation when used in high doses.

The most common benzos are Valium (diazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam). These may come in prescription boxes that have been diverted from pharmacies or in bags of single tablets that have been made in clandestine labs. In more recent years, some benzodiazepines have been laced with fentanyl, which makes them incredibly dangerous.

The withdrawal from benzodiazepines is said to be one of the worst withdrawals that someone can go through. Users experience extreme anxiety, panic attacks, restless legs, and sometimes psychosis. Benzos are also one of the few substances that can cause death from withdrawal, due to seizures.

Because of the long length of time that some benzos act on the body and mind, the acute withdrawal stage can be particularly protracted, which causes many Benzo users to revert back to using again. This is one of the key reasons that make Benzo one of the most addictive drugs.


Alcohol is a depressant drug that can function as a stimulant when used in small doses. While some people do not consider alcohol to be a drug, it certainly is. It is also one of the most addictive drugs.

In the United States, a full one in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the population meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder. In India, this figure is one in twelve.

Of all drugs, alcohol is the one that does the most harm according to research by Doctor David Nutt. Chronic alcohol use leads to severe liver damage, amongst many other ailments. This type of alcohol use often causes drinkers to harm those around them, too.

When someone has been drinking large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time, they may experience Delirium Tremens. This incredibly severe collection of withdrawal symptoms can cause people to experience delusions, and can also cause death by convulsion. The risk of death can be reduced or eliminated when the proper medicines are administered during this time.


Many people consider cannabis to be a “mild” drug, but cannabis IS addictive. People who are prone to addiction can get hooked on cannabis very easily. Users smoke, vape, or consume cannabis in food. It is a stimulant, depressant, and hallucinogen.

Cannabis addiction follows the same pattern as other addictions. A user may start smoking recreationally on weekends, before moving on to weekday use. Before they know it, they are using it every day.

After a period of use, cessation results in withdrawal symptoms. Users who go through withdrawal report depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Cannabis is becoming more dangerous as levels of THC, which is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, are steadily increasing. In many countries, THC levels have tripled in the past three decades. This is causing far higher rates of psychosis in users in recent years.

Getting Help for the Most Addictive Drugs

According to research, opioids like heroin cause the highest levels of dependence, but all drugs can cause addiction, particularly for people who are predisposed to addiction. Once someone is hooked on drugs, it is incredibly difficult for them to stop using.

Whichever drug or your loved one has been taking, we can help. Our team has experience treating every addictive substance there is, and is dedicated to bringing all our clients back to wellness. For more information on how we can support you, contact Samarpan Recovery today.

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