The list of legal and illegal addictive substances is an exhaustive one, with newer, more potent and dangerous substances being added on a regular basis. Among those, there are five commonly abused drugs that out-rank all the others:
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the most commonly abused drug in the United States is alcohol. According to the SAMHSA’s statistics compiled in 2012:
More than half of the total population in the United States regularly consumes alcohol.
Out of the 136 million alcohol consumers, 86 million, are believed to abuse alcohol in some way.
About 63% of all people who consume alcohol abuse it in some way.
Abuse can include binge drinking, underage drinking and addiction.
In 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that tobacco came in as the second most commonly abused drug in the country. According to the SAMHSA:
About 70 million people who were over 12 years old were regular consumers of a tobacco product.
The age group with the highest use of tobacco products was aged 21 to 25 years old.
Underage youth who used tobacco products were much more likely to use other illegal drugs in addition to using tobacco.
Marijuana came in as the third most commonly abused drug according to data compiled by the SAMHSA. It is also the number one illegal drug that is abused. According to a report compiled in 2012 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Adminstration:
Out of the estimated 7.3 million people who are addicted to or that abuse illegal drugs about 4.3 million are addicted to marijuana or abuse it in some way.
Marijuana accounts for about 59% of all illegal drug abuse and addictions.
About 80% of illegal drug users also use marijuana in addition to other drugs.
It is considered to be the most popular drug with students of high school age.
Prescription painkillers came in as the fourth most commonly abused drug according to the data gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2012. Prescription painkillers include drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. According to the SAMHSA:
Prescription drugs which include painkillers are estimated to be abused by over 15 million people.
Prescription drugs such as painkillers and sedatives are abused by more people than cocaine and heroin combined.
5. Prescription Sedatives
The fifth most commonly abused drug is prescription sedatives. Sedatives include drugs such as Lorazapem, Valium and Xanax. These drugs are depressants and are classified as benzodiazepines. According to the SAMHSA:
About 2.4 people were addicted to or abused prescription sedatives such as Xanax.
Benzodiazepines have dangerous effects when combined with other drugs such as alcohol and cocaine.
Celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston died by mixing sedatives with other drugs.
Inpatient Treatment and Its Benefits
Inpatient treatment is one of the best treatment options for overcoming drug abuse and addiction. Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, is when a person voluntarily agrees to reside in a treatment facility to help them overcome their addiction. There are numerous benefits to inpatient treatment. This includes medical supervision 24/7. Professional counselors provide aid and support. Other recovering addicts who are battling the same addictions also offer support and fellowship. The environment is safe and is designed to help a person completely recover from their addiction and gain the skills needed for maintaining a drug-free lifestyle in the future.