When we think about drug addicts, we often think about dark alleys and drug dealers selling little packages to people who are out of control and need help. Yes, street drugs are part of the problem. But they are not the entire problem. There are so many people in the United States that are addicted to the drugs that their doctor prescribes them. Worse, with the doors of the pharmacy being shut to the patients who are now addicted to their prescription drugs, they are turning to street drugs, which are cheap and plentiful.

Why Are Some Drugs Addictive While Others Are Not?

Whether you take street drugs or prescription drugs, the effect is the same, according to our drug defense attorneys. Addictive drugs stimulate the part of your brain that makes you feel good. They bring a feeling of contentment and pleasure. Taken in higher doses, they make you high or drowsy. The brain adjusts to the amount of the drug you take, and it demands more and more to get the same feeling. The major problem is, when you cut the supply off, your body will demand it. You will suffer withdrawal. Withdrawal is so bad that the addict fears it. As soon as the body starts signaling you to provide the drug, you get so sick that you would do almost anything to get your drug of choice.

Most Addictive Drugs

  • Opioid drugs
    • Heroin
    • Oxycodone
    • Hydrocodone

This family of drugs includes pain pills such as Lortab and Vicodin. It can also be found in prescription cough syrup.

  • Cocaine and crack cocaine

This drug is usually snorted (sniffed up the nose) or smoked. It is a powerful painkiller and it is an almost immediate high. Often a person will become addicted to this drug after one use.

  • Benzodiazepines
    • Xanax
    • Valium
    • Ativan
    • Klonopin

What May Surprise You

Between Cocaine and Benzodiazepines, there are two other drug sources that are considered in the top 5 most addictive drugs. They are nicotine (tobacco) and alcohol. These are drugs. They are legal for adults to purchase and they are very addictive.

Everyone who takes a pain medication or a medication to calm them during a trying time becomes addictive. Taken as prescribed and for a limited time, they are effective treatments. However, some people find it difficult to take them as prescribed. They crave the drug and the euphoria that comes with the stronger doses.


If a person is taking the drug and it is giving the feeling of being high or very drunk or high, they are taking too much. The feeling they are craving is the feeling of being over-dosed. When people continue to consume more of the drug to get high, they eventually feel like they will exceed the amount their body can process. At that point, they will usually fall asleep and slowly stop breathing.

There are drugs that can reverse the high, and if they get medical attention quickly enough, they can often be saved. Still, without treatment, they will return to the drug, and they will overdose again.


There are treatments and rehab places that will help. But the addict will always have to be on guard. They must accept that these drugs are not an option for them. Unless they get proper help, the addiction will grow. It will destroy them and take everything from them. The last thing the addiction will take is their life.

For more information, speak to a criminal defense lawyer today.