5 Substances and Medications You Probably Didn’t Realize Were Addictive

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Whenever there’s a debate on drug and substance addiction, much of it often dwells on the de facto drugs of choice for many; heroin, coke or meth. These four are, by far, the most recognized ‘get high’, agents. Heroin and cocaine are the most sought after in the black market where dealers and agents have established a thriving multi-billion dollar industry.

But did you know that there’s a particular type of drugs that induce addiction?

Apparently though, there’s another list of substances that are just as addictive as them, only that they rarely attract the amount of attention. From some legal ‘over-the-counter’ pills and syrups to energy drinks and lots of other substances, the list is massive.

Some of them are what you wouldn’t imagine even in your wildest dreams, yet they’ve downed an entire generation in some parts of the globe. Different parts have diverse types, but the fact that most of them are ordinary medicinal drugs sold off pharmacy and drug stores paints a worrying picture.

Let’s look at some of these legal, but extremely addictive legal drugs:

1.  Opioid painkillers

At the top of this list are some pills that are inadvertently creating a health catastrophe across the world. Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl and morphine are common among the now-addicted list of people suffering from physical pain-inducing ailments.

Fundamentally, opioids function by easing the pain after clinging onto the receptors in the brain. But the fact that an estimated 40 people succumb to this addiction every day in the US alone, according to the CDCP means there’s a reason to worry.

2.  A specific type of cough syrup

There’s a massive list of prescription cough syrups currently wrecking lives of people across the world. Most of them, as captured by documentaries on YouTube, are prescribed to cure sinusitis, hay fever, bronchitis and endless coughs.

But as fate would have, abusers of the syrup have found it had to cease using them, thanks to the codeine contained in the substance. In fact, so dire is the situation that in some cases, the victim turns violent if the regular dose isn’t given.

3.  Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines pills (or Benzos) especially Xanax, Klonopin, and valium, are extremely abused today. These drugs, originally meant to treat chronic anxiety, has morphed into a highly sought-after drug because of the ‘instant high’ feeling. What’s even worse is, when one gets addicted to it, stopping becomes almost impossible because one has to increase the consumption in order to attain the desired effect.

4.  ADHD Pills

Popular Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder meds have been gaining bad rap, all because of how addictive they are getting among high school and college students. Led by Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall, the surge in their demand is a testament to how addictive they’ve become. They are stimulants, often sold over-the-counter, but are highly habit-forming, although withdrawal usually isn’t as complex as that of the other pills abused.

5.  Alcohol

It isn’t a drug per se, but the fact that it is highly addictive and impairs sane judgment warrants being among the most abused substances. The worst is when it becomes binge drinking and later morphs to be an addiction. Some people get so addicted to it that they can’t even work without.

Even when it is legal for individuals above 21 years, it is important to watch how much a person drinks. Too much of it is dangerous and withdrawal isn’t a walk in the park either.