Anyone can develop addiction to a substance. There are psychological risk factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, personality traits such as high impulsivity, among other mental health problems. Contextual risk factors also play a role, including family or interpersonal relationship problems and exposure to poverty and violence. Both exert a determining weight on the path of an individual who begins to use substances. On the other hand, genetic factors also influence the path from substance use to addiction. Certain characteristics of the brain can make someone more vulnerable to addictive substances than the average person, but what is the most addictive thing? The combination of these factors shows that having an addiction is not the sole responsibility of one person. Rather, the person can be the victim of a series of biological, psychological, and social circumstances and, therefore, should not be tried, criminalized, or marginalized for this disease.
For decades, scientists have not tired of repeating to us the dangers of using drugs and regulated psychotropic substances such as tobacco or alcohol, one of which is the factor of addiction. Now we can know which are the most addictive things that exist in the world, thanks to a methodology developed by the University of Bristol. They say some drugs are so dangerous that you can get addicted just by trying them. The researchers say that in most cases, it is usually a fallacy, but they affirm that this will depend on different variables, such as lifestyle, the strength of the drug, and the amount that is used. Likewise, the most addictive thing (talking about substances) that exists in the world will not only affect health but also in the pocket. Taken together, these two studies would take away anyone’s urge to consume any of the most addictive substances right away.
The Most Addictive Thing – Top Five
Here we present the most addictive things (substances). Remember that because of the power of addiction, these substances can be very dangerous for health:
Heroin – It is a fast-acting substance; its effects take between 15-30 seconds to reach the brain. It is considered one of the most addictive things and a “hard” drug due to its addictive potential and the damage it causes to health. It is highly soluble in water, and its most widespread mode of application is injected, although it can be smoked or inhaled. As tolerance is gained, the doses can rise to alarming amounts: 20-40 milligrams. There is no limit; the dose is increasing until the death of the addict. It also produces a very strong withdrawal symptom. Its withdrawal must be under medical supervision and with replacement drugs.
Cocaine – Cocaine is a drug from the group of psychoactive substances; that is, it produces direct stimulating effects on the central nervous system, mainly on the brain. Among its differentiating characteristics is its high capacity to produce addiction, so that even in small doses, it can generate great dependence. Another of its effects is a rapid tolerance to the dose, so it is necessary to consume more and more to achieve the same results. It is a particularly pernicious drug for health, both physical and mental, even in small doses, its effects being worse the longer it has been consumed or the more quantity it is used, and its consequences extend beyond the personal sphere, by also affecting the couple, family and friends.
Nicotine – Nicotine is a substance that is absorbed mainly through the lungs (79 to 90%). It is rapidly absorbed from the nasal, oral and respiratory mucosa, reaching the brain where the receptors are located after about 7 seconds. It is there where it exerts its action on the CNS as well as on the autonomic nervous system. This almost immediate relationship between smoke inhalation and its effect on the brain is one of the factors that contribute to the high addictive power of nicotine, and this is why it is considered one of the most addictive things. The half-life of nicotine is two hours, ranging from 1 to 4 hours according to individual variability, and most of it is metabolized in the liver. Only 7% of nicotine is excreted by the kidneys unchanged along with cotinine. It also passes into breast milk and crosses the placental barrier.
Barbiturates – Barbiturates are drugs derived from barbituric acid that is used to sedate the central nervous system. The effects of this type of drug can be, for example, mild sedation, anesthesia, or even euphoria. Barbiturates are defined within the category of nervous system depressants because they directly affect brain activity and are therefore widely used to calm anxiety, panic, etc. But on the other hand, you also have to be careful because the effects they cause in people can be highly addictive, and poor management and an overdose can cause death. Many people can use barbiturates as a drug due to the repeated use of these substances. This is because the effects caused by barbiturates are used as relaxants for anxiety, depression because they cancel some functions of the brain.
Alcohol – The most addictive thing in this top 5 is alcohol. There are several important factors in the development of this disease. For example, a person with an alcoholic mother or father is more likely to acquire it. Another cause is related to psychological factors: conflict in interpersonal relationships, need to relieve anxiety, depression, social acceptance of alcohol consumption, or low self-esteem. Also, excessive consumption of this drug leads to serious health problems, both mental (depression, psychosis) and physical (damage to the liver, brain), and even death.