"In Health" magazine asked a panel of experts to rank commonly used drugs by their potential for addiction. Two factors were used: how easily people become addicted, and how difficult it can be for people to quit. A score of 100 represents a high potential for addiction, 1 a low potential. Because each individual reacts differently based on psychology, physiology, and social pressures, the rankings reflect addictive potential only.
Potential For Addiction: 16.72/100
Mescaline is found in several cactus species, such as Peyote and San Pedro. It is usually smoked in "joints" or pipes, similar to marijuana. Mescaline, like LSD, causes hallucinations. Some of these hallucinations can cause nightmares, and could potentially cause some psychosis to those who use it. Mescaline has a relatively low potential for addiction.
Potential For Addiction: 16.72/100
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug. It is engineered from lysergic acid derived from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye. During the cold war, governments looked to LSD as a possible way to instigate mind control. The effects and addictive potential of LSD are very similar to Mescaline.
16. Psilocybine Mushrooms
Potential For Addiction: 17.13/100
"Magic" Mushrooms (mushrooms containing the psychoactive substance psilocybin and psilocin) have been around since the days of the ancient Aztek civilization in central America. These mushrooms cause hallucinations similar to LSD, but give a less intense, "natural" high. They do not have high addictive potential.
Potential For Addiction: 20.14/100
A relatively new drug on the scene, enthusiastic users of "E" proclaim it does everything from enhancing their sex and social life, to curing migraines and even narcolepsy! Others who have stopped using the drug (after months or years of regular use) complain of increased paranoia, anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. The physical addictive qualities of this drug are surprisingly low on this list, but we suspect the psychological addictive qualities are much higher.
Potential For Addiction: 21.16/100
Although the drug is not addictive to most casual users, marijuana can be highly addictive to a small percentage of people who use it. It is estimated that between 10 to 14 percent of regular users will become highly dependent. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, insomnia and irritability. Marijuana's role as a potential "gateway" drug (encourages users to graduate to more dangerous drugs such as cocaine) has been debated for years, but no evidence exists that confirms this "gateway" theory. On the other hand, no evidence exists that disproves this theory.
13. PCP (Phencyclidine)
Potential For Addiction: 55.69/100
PCP is a synthetic drug originally used as an anesthetic during surgery, but its use was discontinued for this purpose due to the extreme side effects. Commonly referred to as "angel dust" or "crystal", PCP gives the user feelings of invincibility, and vivid hallucinations. Long-term use can produce memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression and possible schizophrenia.
Potential For Addiction: 72.01/100
The most widely used drug on earth, caffeine can be quite addictive. Those who have 300 milligrams (or more) per day can experience withdrawal symptoms if they cut off their caffeine intake. These users can suffer depression, irritability, tremors, jumpiness, lack of "deep sleep", and painful headaches.
Potential For Addiction: 73.13/100
Cocaine hydrochloride (a.k.a. coke, snow, blow) stimulates the central nervous system, and interferes with the reabsorption of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.The drug is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant, found primarily in South America. Cocaine can produce euphoria, hyper-stimulation, confidence, and alertness. However, these positive effects can wear off within 30 minutes. When they do, withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and/or paranoia.? Cocaine is highly addictive both physically and psychologically.
10. Crank (Amphetamine Taken Orally)
Potential For Addiction: 81.09/100
Crank's effects include euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, reduction of appetite, decreased need for liquids, increased sense of alertness, and increase in energy levels. High doses of amphetamines can cause blood vessels in the brain to rupture, heart failure, hyperthermia (extremely high fever), seizures, coma, and death.
Potential For Addiction: 81.80/100
A highly addictive drug, heroin is processed from morphine, which is extracted from the Asian Poppy. Heroin usually appears as a brown or white colored powder, and commonly referred to on the street as "H", "smack" or "junk". It creates an instant feeling of euphoria, and "warm flushes" throughout the body. Withdrawal symptoms (which can occur in as little as one to two hours from the last dose) can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes.
Potential For Addiction: 81.85/100
At first, alcohol can produce feelings of cheerfulness and confidence, but as we all know, this soon leads to unpredictable and erratic behavior. Long term alcohol abuse can damage the liver and pancreas, and cause bone damage and heart disease. If a user mixes alcohol with other drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), cocaine, heroin, and/or barbiturates, it can actually double alcohol's damaging effects on the body.
7. Seconal (Secrobarbital)
Potential For Addiction: 82.11/100
Known as a "sedative hypnotic", Seconal was once used as a sleeping pill, but have since been outlawed. They are highly addictive and commonly referred to on the street as "reds". Withdrawal symptoms for Seconal, like other "downer" drugs, can be quite severe. They include anxiety, nervousness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and stomach cramps.
6. Quaalude (Methaqualone)
Potential For Addiction: 83.38/100
Methaqualone was invented in the 1950s and originally marketed as a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, and sedative. It became popular as a recreational drug in the 1960's, giving the user a relaxed and "free" feeling similar to the effects of alcohol. The drug was outlawed in most countries by the mid 80s. Its withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of most "sedative hypnotic" drugs, such as Seconal and Valium.
5. Valium (Diazepam)
Potential For Addiction: 85.68/100
Another "sedative hypnotic" drug, with severe withdrawal effects similar to Quaaludes and Seconal. Used for treatment of sleep disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder.
4. Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine, injected)
Potential For Addiction: 94.09/100