someone rolling a marijuana joint

The Most Common Drugs That Land People in Rehab

Although people can become addicted to any natural or chemical drug out there, there is a handful of commonly abused drugs or substances that land people in drug rehabs. Alcohol and tobacco have not been included in this list, as it focuses on illegal drugs, however, they are widely considered to be the two substances most depended on in the world.


Although legal in some states, marijuana is still the most widely abused substance in the USA, after alcohol and tobacco. It remains cheap and easily accessible despite its illegal status in 47 states and is thus still the go-to drug for many teenagers or young adults who believe they cannot become dependent. For most people, marijuana is simply a social stress-reliever, however around 9% of users become addicted, and more than 20% are dependent on the drug or use it daily. The vast majority of drug addicts will abuse their drug of choice in conjunction with marijuana, making it one of the least fatal but most abused drugs in the country.

Prescription Painkillers

Over the past few years there has been a rapid and alarming increase in addiction to prescription or over-the-counter medications. When used responsibly and as prescribed, opioids such as Vicodin provide relief from pain; however, when overused, combined with other drugs, or used without a prescription these medications can provide addicts with a euphoric high. Unfortunately, opioids are also incredibly addictive, and more people in the US die from an overdose on prescription painkillers than heroin or cocaine combined.


Prescription ‘downers’ are similar to alcohol in the sense that they act as central nervous system depressant and are prescribed to reduce anxiety or promote sleep. Because they do not provide feelings of euphoria when taken alone, many people mix benzos with other drugs. Several celebrities – such as Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger – have died from combinations of prescription sedatives and other drugs, specifically alcohol or additional central nervous system depressants.


Cocaine is a powerful stimulant or ‘upper’ that elevates a user’s mood and increases alertness and energy levels. It is short lasting, which often leads to addicts binging or overdosing in one session, and also has a steep tolerance build-up that requires addicts to use more and more to obtain the same high. Cocaine, especially crack cocaine, is one of the most addictive substances in the world and can cause severe heart and blood pressure problems, as well as paranoia.


Heroin, the king of narcotics, is thought to be the most addictive illegal substance in the world. It penetrates the brain’s reward system almost instantaneously, resulting in an intense rush of euphoria, tricking the brain into halting the production of reward and pleasure feelings. Eventually, a heroin addict will not be able to achieve any feelings of pleasure without the aid of the drug, which results in extreme cravings when trying to recover. Top this all of with severe withdrawal symptoms and there you have it: the world’s most addictive substance.

If you are watching a loved one struggle with some of these commonly abused drugs or you yourself are suffering from drug addiction, there is a way out. Contact us today.