There are dozens of illegal addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin but many others are legal and are actually easy accessible in almost every home. Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, aerosols and prescription medicines can all be addictive. In fact any substance that is habit forming whether it is legal or not is addictive.
Addictive substances affect the brain in different ways. Stimulants make a person feel more energetic and depressants cause a feeling of relaxation. Hallucinogens change reality for the user. Addictive substances are can also be legal, illegal or prescription only.
List of addictive substances: Legal
Caffeine: Caffeine is addictive and a person’s body can begin to build a tolerance to it and experience withdrawal when they stop drinking it. Coffee, tea, soda, sports drinks and other sports beverages that have caffeine in it run the risk of being addictive. Coffee though, has twice as much caffeine as other drinks. Three cups or less of coffee per day is considered ok, going above that can cause nervousness, sleeping problems, increased heartbeat, headaches, anxiety and nausea.
Nicotine: Cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges. Nicotine raises the dopamine levels in the brain and stimulates adrenalin.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that affects neurons in the brain which leads to a feeling of relaxation, drowsiness, lack of inhibition, sleep, coma and even death. Addiction to alcohol is call alcoholism. Alcohol includes wine, beer and liquor.
Inhalants: Aerosols, solvents and nitrates. These inhalants can range from paint thinners to hair spray and even whip cream cans. The inhalation results in a high similar to that of alcohol, one time use of inhalants can kill or cause heart failure in someone.
List of addictive substances: Controlled
Amphetamines: Speed, crystal meth. Stimulants give a person more energy and boost alertness as well as concentration. Adderall, Dexedrine and other controlled addictive substances like this are normally prescribed for the treatment of ADD and ADHD.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines include prescription drugs like Xanax and valium. These are prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, seizures and symptoms of panic disorder.
Opioids: Morphine, oxycodone, codeine and other narcotic pain relievers are very helpful with pain but they are also very addictive. Opioids interfere with the way the pain messages are sent to the brain and how the brain receives them.
List of addictive substances: Illegal
Cannabis: Marijuana, pot, hashish, grass, bud whatever they are calling it is cannabis. Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Long-term use of marijuana is addictive for some people.
Cocaine: Cocaine brings an intense euphoria and energy to its user followed shortly after with agitation, depression and mania. Cocaine is also known as powder, coke, and crack. Cocaine is highly addictive.
Hallucinogens: Hallucinogens can include LSD and ecstasy. Hallucinogens change the way the user perceives time, motion, colors, sound and their own thoughts. Hallucinogens depending on which they are can be addictive.
Phencyclidine (PCP): PCP is also known as angel dust. PCP is approved only for use in animals. It is a hallucinogen that has sedating qualities and also produces a dissociative state or out of body experience along with euphoria. Those who use PCP can become violent or suicidal.