The Most Destructive Illegal Drugs Today
If we are going to make a list of the most destructive substances today, alcohol will most definitely take the top spot. No one can deny that alcohol has destroyed countless lives not only of users but also of that user’s friends and loved ones. Whether it’s through liver disease and other illnesses, drunk driving accidents, or violence, alcohol has taken more lives than most drugs combined.
However, the following list of drugs are as destructive and which inflict as much damage on people or even worse:
Heroin is one of the oldest illicit drugs in the world, having been in use since the 19th century as a strong painkiller. Eventually, heroin became a popular recreational drug due to its powerful euphoric effects. The problem with heroin is that it is highly addictive. It is, in fact, one of the most physically addictive substances in the world.
Heroin abuse impacts one’s health significantly, as it can cause kidney or liver disease, frequent nausea and vomiting, heart infections, pulmonary infections, hepatitis, depression, chronic constipation, infertility in women, and diminished sex drive. Since heroin is usually injected into the bloodstream, it increases a user’s risk of contracting HIV, especially if he or she shares needles with other users.
As if the destructiveness of pure cocaine wasn’t enough, drug dealers got more creative by distilling their available cocaine powder using baking soda. The result is a much cheaper, rock-shaped form of freebase cocaine that delivers effects 10 to 15 seconds after ingesting it. The side effects, however, include long-term damage to the liver, kidney, lungs, and the blood vessels. Heart attacks, strokes, and death are common occurrences among crack users and addicts.
Crystal meth used to be legal, but today, it is considered as one of the most destructive illegal drugs in the world. Classified as a stimulant, crystal meth deprives its users of sleep. It also makes them severely anxious, and their behavior becomes extremely unpredictable. Crystal meth abusers also tend to become more violent.
One of the more disturbing side effects of crystal meth, however, is the way it makes users feel like there are bugs crawling underneath their skin. As a result of this sensation, crystal meth users tend to pick on their skin, which then leads to open sores on their face and body.
Crystal meth also puts a lot of strain on the kidneys and causes hallucinations, psychosis, brain damage, stroke, and coma.
There was a time when synthetic cannabis was being openly sold on the market, bearing brand names such as K2 and Spice. Everything changed when David Mitchell Rozga, an American teenager from Indianola, Iowa, shot himself in the head an hour after smoking K2, one of the most popular brands of synthetic marijuana.
By 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 into law, effectively banning synthetic compounds commonly found in synthetic marijuana.
A mish-mash of man-made chemicals, fillers, and cutting agents is what make up synthetic cannabinoids, a fact that makes this drug incredibly dangerous. Among the reported adverse effects of synthetic marijuana use are seizures, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, dissociative state, hallucinations, paranoia, and acute agitation. Synthetic cannabinoids have also led directly to the death of hundreds of users over the years.
In the context of this article, bath salts are not the crystalline substance that you dissolve in bath water to soften or perfume it. The bath salts we’re referring to here are synthetic cathinones, a class of drugs made up of man-made stimulants chemically related to cathinone, a substance found naturally in the plant known as khat.
Bath salts usually appear as a white or brown crystal-like powder, which users ingest by swallowing, snorting, or injecting with a needle.
People high on bath salts exhibit signs of psychosis, suffer panic attacks, display unusual psychiatric behavior, and are prone to violent behavior. The drug also raises body temperature and may cause a heart attack.
Flakka is similar to bath salts in chemical structure, but are not marketed as such. Instead, flakka is being sold by drug dealers as an alternative to MDMA or Ecstasy. Its effects, however, are so much more horrific than any of the drugs mentioned above.
There have been many reports of men and women on Flakka—considered to be ten times stronger than cocaine—breaking into homicidal rages or exhibiting psychotic behavior or simply screaming their lungs out. There have been Flakka users who have assaulted police officers, moved like zombies (there are dozens of videos online Flakka users severely twisting and contorting their bodies), and killed people.
These effects are not surprising since Flakka can trigger severe hallucinations, enhancing the emotions of its users and elevating their heart rate as well. Continued use can cause permanent psychological damage and can also cause heart failure.
If you have a friend or loved one who is hooked on any of the above drugs, then you have to do something about it. You can at least refer their case to addiction treatment experts before it’s too late. These drugs are incredibly destructive, and the only way to save your loved one is to make him or her undergo treatment as soon as possible.
About the Author
Rachel Porter is the content specialist at America’s Rehab Campuses, an addiction treatment center located in Tucson, AZ. She has a full understanding of how drugs can destroy lives and has dedicated her time to helping others with drug addictions by spreading awareness about it.