AddictionDrug Addictiona man feeling stressed as he learns about the most addictive substances

A list of the most addictive substances is likely to be eye-opening for a number of people. While there will also be plenty of substances that are expected on such a list, there’s probably going to be a few surprises as well. Understanding the various substances that can be addictive leads to a greater realization of when there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

What Are Some Of The Most Addictive Substances?

Below is just a small sampling of the most addictive substances. Please be aware that this list is far from being exhaustive though.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a type of methamphetamine that includes a particularly harrowing twist for those who use it. Unlike other types of methamphetamine, crystal meth changes the way the brain functions by stimulating the areas that produce pleasure and alertness.

The boost in the dopamine and norepinephrine your brain feels, however, can become addictive. When taking crystal meth, the neurons that produce these chemicals are damaged. This can lead to the person having a decreased ability to focus and feel pleasure permanently.


If you’re surprised that alcohol is one a list of the most addictive substances, then you aren’t alone. Given the fact that alcohol is legal for people 21 years of age and older to consume and that it is so prevalent throughout the United States, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that it is one of the most abused substances.

Because it releases dopamine and endorphins, which can make you feel happier, less anxious, and more confident, alcohol has often said to be a social drug. Those who are addicted to alcohol rely on it to release these endorphins and their body requires it to operate.

With almost 10 percent of Americans addicted to alcohol — a rate that equals about 18 million people — this substance has some of the worst withdrawal symptoms. If not handled properly, these can lead to a medical emergency or even death in some cases.


Heroin and heroin addiction get a great deal of coverage in the media since the opioid crisis became so serious. It releases dopamine by binding with the opioid receptors in the brain. This release is beyond what the body is capable of doing by itself.

In many cases, a person becomes addicted to prescription pain medications. Once they are no longer able to get a prescription for their pain meds, the individual might feel like they have no choice but to turn to street drugs like heroin.

Detoxing the body and mind from heroin brings with it challenges that can be difficult to overcome. Once you’re no longer taking heroin, it takes your body some time to adjust and start producing dopamine on its own again. Symptoms such as nausea, hallucinations, depression, and physical pain can drive people to continue using heroin.

Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that is smoked instead of a powder that is snorted. It takes effect faster than regular cocaine and provides a more intense high. When compared to cocaine, crack cocaine’s high lasts only about 10 minutes. Powder cocaine’s high decreases after about 30 minutes.

About 500,000 people in the United States are addicted to the happiness, high energy, and excitement they get from crack cocaine. The withdrawal effects of anxiety, depression, and anger are short-lived but intense. They prompt the person to keep using at ever-increasing doses.

Get the Help You Need Today

Tackling a reliance on one of the most addictive substances by yourself can be overwhelming. With the assistance of the caring, professional team at Serenity Light Recovery, you can look forward to a life that’s free from addiction. Contact us today at 855.658.6109 and learn how we can help.