A lot of people are wondering what the most addictive drug in the world is…

Everyone knows that drugs come with a series of potential health risks. But, around 80% to 85% of the population are still trying addictive substances, whether they are alcohol, ecstasy, or cocaine.

The truth is, over 21 million Americans are using illegal drugs, or misusing their prescribed medication, as published by the NCBI. But, there are so many dangerous addictive substances on the market, it’s hard to keep track.

That’s why it’s vital that you recognize the products with the highest addictive properties. That’s how you can stay safe. This is a detailed guideline of the top 8 most addictive drugs on the globe.

8 Most Addictive Drugs on the Market

People think that all addictive drugs must be illegal. But that couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the most addictive substances can be bought at the local store. That’s what makes them extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

Each researcher will judge a drug’s addictive properties based on the harm it causes, value, and its impact on the central nervous system. But, it’s also important to focus on its withdrawal issues and how often people become hooked on the substance.

There isn’t a single way to rank these addictive substances. But, with all the compiled research, anyone can get a clear picture of what to expect. Here’s a list of the most addictive drugs that are often abused.

Stonegate Center Blog - Most Addictive Drugs in the World - Drug Usage

1. Crystal Meth



Methamphetamine use is constantly on the rise. This incredibly addictive and powerful drug is very popular in the U.S. About 6% of Americans, 12 years or older, have taken the substance at least once, published the NIDA.  The most commonly bought option is the crystal-like form.

The substance boosts the activity in specific spots of the brain and interferes with the central nervous system. That’s why users experience a sudden surge of pleasure, energy, excitement, and focus. That powerful “high” makes it a very strong addictive substance.

If you or a loved one are struggling with crystal meth addiction, it’s best to seek medical treatment. At an Inpatient Rehab Center in Texas, like Stonegate Center, which is located just west of Fort Worth, you can get all the help you need.

2. Heroin

Clinical research shows that heroin is a potent opiate that can interfere with dopamine levels in the nervous system. It boosts the reward system by over 200%. Experts rank heroin as the most addictive substance on the market with a score of 3/3.

That’s incredibly potent, which is why almost everyone who has tried the substance has become addicted to it.

But that’s not all. This substance is very dangerous since the dose that can kill a person is only five times bigger than the necessary dose to get high.

Users rely on various methods of administration to get the effects. Here are some of the most prevalent ones based on the Pharmaceutical Journal.

Stonegate Center Blog - Most Addictive Drugs in the World - Heroin Method of Administration

For those dealing with heroin addiction, it’s important to visit a drug detox center as soon as possible and start the treatment process.

3. Ecstasy

Night clubs, parties, and all-night raves are the most popular place for sharing ecstasy. These highly addictive substances are incredibly popular in the nightclub scene.

Based on statistical reports, around 6.80% of the global population have tried these pills at least once in their lifetime. But, because of how widely spread they are, it’s hard to tell how many users are addicted to them. That’s why the addiction results are inconclusive.

What experts know, however, is that ecstasy is very similar to hallucinogens. They create warmth, pleasure, and energy, but also distort the perception of time and senses. They are mostly sold in capsules and are often combined with marijuana or alcohol.

If you know anyone who is addicted to ecstasy or any addictive substance, it would be in their best interest to go a medical detox, like our medical detox in Fort Worth. Afterwards, inpatient treatment for ecstasy addiction is recommended in order to attain lifelong sobriety.

4. Anti-Anxiety Medication

Any drugs for mental disorders can be addictive. But, benzos or benzodiazepines are some of the most potent ones. Based on reports, benzos are a serious issue. They are almost as misused as alcohol, which could lead to serious health risks.

Stonegate Center Blog - Most Addictive Drugs in the World - Misuse of Drugs

When someone has to take these drugs, they will usually rely on them for a short time. But, when the drugs are necessary for long-term use, that’s when people become vulnerable to addiction.

Statistics show that out of the 12.5% of American adults who used benzos for anxiety, only 2.1% misused them intentionally. Even though the addiction rates are lower than cocaine, it’s still important to be very careful when taking them.

A substance abuse treatment center for men or a gender-separate treatment center for women can help flush out all the addictive substances from the system.

5. Cocaine

When you’re thinking about the most addictive drugs, cocaine always comes to mind. Roughly 14 to 20 million people are using cocaine, published the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This substance directly tampers the brain’s ability to use the dopamine properly.

It disrupts the neurons from sending signals, which affects the brain’s reward pathways. Based on studies, cocaine is incredibly harmful to overall health. Its stimulants make it so addictive that about 21% of those who tried it will become addicted to it.

For people who can’t stop taking cocaine or alcohol, a residential drug and alcohol treatment can help.

6. Marijuana

Marijuana remains the most popular illicit substance for recreational use in the U.S. and Europe. But, despite its many uses and clinical benefits, it’s possible for people to develop a marijuana use disorder.

According to recent data published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 30% of those who tried the substance have developed some level of use disorder. Those older than 18 are more prone to abusing the substance.

These use disorders are closely associated with dependence. So, when a person stops using the substance abruptly, they will start to feel the withdrawal effects. They will deal with restlessness, cravings, and poor appetite.

But, this type of addiction is a lot less impactful than some of the most dangerous drugs, like cocaine or heroin.

7. Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is a major health concern all around the world. It causes over 2.5 million deaths a year globally, published the National Institutes of Health.

Although alcohol doesn’t have the same addictive properties as cocaine or ecstasy, it is one of the most dangerous substances on the market. It is widely available, which makes it easy for people to engage in risky drinking behaviors.

With regular drinking, people become vulnerable to addiction. According to experts, most of the individuals who do develop alcohol addiction have already started going downhill. They’ve either had emotional difficulties, instability, or serious complications that have led them to start drinking.

In other cases, alcoholism runs in their family. This automatically predisposes them to develop an alcohol addiction. But, no matter the reason for the substance abuse, it’s important to treat the addiction as soon as possible. You can get a medical detox in Fort Worth, for example, or attend a detox center in your surrounding area. It’s the perfect option to get your life back on track.

8. Tobacco

If you want to know what is the most addictive drug, then tobacco definitely ticks all the boxes. According to the CDC, it is the leading cause of preventable death, disability, and illnesses in the U.S.

Almost 40 million people are smoking cigarettes, just in the U.S, while 24% of global smokers are addicted to them. It’s a legal drug with incredibly addictive properties.

Some experts believe that tobacco addiction is a lot more powerful than alcohol. The urges are so strong; they start to interfere with the central nervous system. Once you start using it, it’s very difficult to quit.

However, there are more options that can help the cravings subside. Smokers have access to patches or gums that can ease the nicotine’s addictive properties. They stabilize the nicotine levels in the system and help reduce the risk of a relapse.


Not all addictive substances have to illegal. But, the key to preventing a psychological or physical dependence on drugs is knowing what you can expect from them. Legal substances like alcohol and cigarettes can be just as addictive.

These addictions can take a toll on people’s lives. They are a disease that has to be treated so that patients will be able to overcome their challenges. Only then can they live a normal life and learn to beat the cravings.

All the information listed here can help everyone figure out the sheer impact of addictive substances. For those dealing with addiction, it’s best to ask for proper detox therapy. Visit your local rehab, like the medical detox in Fort Worth, for example, to get the help you need.

Struggling With Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

Are you reading this article because you may have a substance abuse problem? If so, our team at Stonegate Center can help you attain lifelong sobriety!

On our 125+ acre campus in Azle, Texas, we offer high-quality medical, clinical, and spiritual care to our friends struggling with addiction. As a faith-based and gender-separate facility, we are known for incorporating your spiritual journey into your tailored treatment program. That means that in addition to individual therapy, group therapy, recreational and equine therapy, you’ll also be mentored along your spiritual journey.

This is done through our adherence to the Life Recovery Bible as well as our 12-Step Program – which are led by our Recovery Advocates. Besides top-notch clinical and medical care, you’ll also gain access into our robust Alumni Program. This program is designed for us to stay in touch with our clients after they graduate in addition to having some fun. For instance, in 2019, our alumni organized a paintball event, crawfish boil, and camping adventure in order to check in with each other!

Finally, we are covered by most health insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Ambetter, HealthChoice of Oklahoma, and PHCS Multiplan. By utilizing your in-network substance abuse and mental health benefits, treatment is made affordable. For a 100% confidential and transparent quote, please submit our insurance verification form and we’ll reach out with the results in a couple of hours.

So, give us a call if you’re looking to kickstart your recovery. Our main line is (817) 993-9733 and our email is admissions@stonegatecenter.com. We’d love to have you join our recovery community and get back to the life you had before addiction took it from you.
















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Stonegate Center
Address: 7510 FM 1886, Azle, TX 76020
Phone: (817) 993-9733
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Stonegate Center is a private faith-based and gender-separate rehab center located in Azle, Texas. We offer long-term residential addiction treatment for men and women struggling with drug & alcohol addiction. Our rehab center serves the communities of Fort Worth, Dallas, and as far as Oklahoma & New Mexico.

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