Most Commonly Abused Drugs

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, knowing which drugs are commonly abused can be the first step in getting the help you need. With so many substances out there, it can be overwhelming to navigate the effects and risk factors of different drugs. However, understanding the most commonly abused drugs can provide clarity on the impact and dangers of addiction.

Tree House Recovery offers drug addiction treatment that can help you or your loved one on the road to recovery. Call 910.812.1728 today to get started with treatment.

What Are the Most Commonly Abused Drugs?

There are many substances that can be abused, but these are some of the most commonly abused drugs:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids (including heroin and prescription painkillers)
  • Stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine)
  • Depressants (benzodiazepines and barbiturates)

Each of these substances can have different effects on your body and mind. It is important to be aware of the risks associated with each drug.


Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances in the world. It has a sedative effect, which can cause those who drink to feel relaxed and have less inhibitions. However, drinking too much can lead to health problems such as liver damage, increased risk of cancer, and neurological issues. Long-term alcohol abuse can also increase your risk for addiction.


Opioid drugs are a class of medicines used for pain relief and are derived from the opium poppy plant. Commonly abused opioids include heroin and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Opioids can produce a sense of euphoria but also have serious risks, including respiratory depression, when taken in large doses. Long-term abuse of opioids can lead to dependency and addiction.


Stimulants are substances that increase activity in the body, resulting in an energizing effect. They are often prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, but illicit stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine can also be abused. Stimulant abuse can lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and even stroke.


Depressants are substances that slow down the activity of the central nervous system, resulting in a calming effect. Commonly abused depressants include benzodiazepines and barbiturates. These drugs can be helpful for treating anxiety and insomnia, but they also carry a high risk of dependency and addiction. Long-term abuse of depressants can lead to serious health problems.

How Does Addiction Develop?

Addiction is a complex disorder that can develop when an individual’s brain chemistry changes in response to drug abuse. Constant exposure to drugs will cause the brain to become dependent on specialized neurotransmitters that are released when these substances are taken. As addiction progresses, people may be unable to control their use and experience withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to quit.

However, even with a severe addiction, there is hope for recovery. Addiction treatment programs can provide the support and guidance needed to help people overcome their substance abuse issues and gain control of their lives.

Connect with the Tree House Recovery Team Today

Understanding the most commonly abused drugs and their effects is crucial for identifying and addressing addiction. At Tree House Recovery, we offer a range of evidence-based treatment programs for addiction and related mental health issues. From holistic therapies to individualized care plans, our team of experts is dedicated to supporting each client in their journey toward lasting recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or your loved one take the first step toward healing.

Reach out to our team at 910.812.1728 or contact us online to begin your recovery journey.

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