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Commonly Abused Drugs

a man struggles to conceal the signs of his drug abuse

Addiction is a deadly disease affecting millions of people each year. While some individuals may develop a substance use disorder after consuming drugs recreationally, others may develop a dependence on prescription medication. Thus, it is important to remain aware of the commonly abused drugs and watch out for the early warning signs. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to Serenity Grove’s personalized substance abuse treatment program as soon as possible.

A substance use disorder can affect virtually anyone. Be it out of curiosity, peer pressure, or to cope with the symptoms of chronic pain, people from all walks of life may turn to drugs for euphoria or relief. With several drugs being readily sold over the counter, it is possible to become chemically dependent without even realizing it. To learn more about our programs and services for treating substance use disorder, call us at 844.904.3485 or reach out to us online.

Understanding How Drug Abuse Starts

Drug abuse can start when an individual is introduced to drugs by peers, family members, or even through curiosity. For some people, experimentation with drugs becomes a regular habit that may eventually lead to addiction. Other individuals may be prescribed medication for valid medical reasons and become addicted due to repeated use. Regardless of how it starts, drug abuse affects both the user’s body and mind in numerous ways.

The consequences of drug abuse can include:

  • Physical health problems — Can cause liver failure or organ damage
  • Mental health issues — New or worsening depression, anxiety, paranoia, and more
  • Social/legal consequences — Job loss, homelessness, incarceration

Drug abuse is a serious problem with potentially devastating consequences. If you believe that someone is struggling with a drug abuse problem, it is vital to get them help right away. There are many treatment options available, and seeking help can be the first step in recovery.

It is also important to remember that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, and no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help. If you are worried about someone’s drug use, reach out for support and talk to them about your concerns. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome drug abuse and lead a healthy life.

Commonly Abused Drugs

Regular consumption of drugs can significantly alter one’s brain chemistry and behavioral patterns while also doing irreversible damage to their physical health. However, by commencing treatment early and committing to lifelong wellness and sobriety, it may be possible to undo most of the damage and make a full recovery.

Some of the most commonly abused drugs are discussed below.


Alcohol is actually one of the most commonly abused substances not just in the United States but all over the world. Anyone of age can legally buy alcohol, and drinking at social events is so normalized in our culture that it is not easy to spot the signs of alcoholism. Alcohol not only causes severe liver damage, among other health issues, but it also can make people more aggressive, violent, and prone to accidents.


Marijuana is frequently consumed for its calming effects. With several variants available, some strains are more potent than others. Since the recreational use of marijuana is illegal in many places, other illicit chemicals or spices are frequently mixed into synthetic marijuana, leading to greater dependence and health disorders.


Stimulants refer to chemicals that are designed to keep the body awake and active. They increase the activity of the central nervous system (CNS) and may often be prescribed by doctors to cope with mood disorders, ADHD, and other issues. These include:

  • Cocaine
  • MDMA (or Ecstasy)
  • Nicotine
  • Amphetamine/Adderall
  • Caffeine
  • Modafinil
  • Ritalin


Depressants, as the name suggests, are the opposite of stimulants; they decrease the activity of the CNS and are frequently prescribed for pain relief, anxiety, or insomnia. These include:

  • Xanax
  • Gabapentin
  • Pregabalin
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan


Opioids are substances usually derived from opium that act on the specific opioid receptors of the brain. They are usually used in anesthesia, sedation, and pain relief, and consuming them frequently may lead to severe withdrawal and side effects. Commonly abused drugs in this class include:

  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Methadone

If you or a loved one is showing signs of dependence and/or addiction, contact your local healthcare provider immediately or seek professional help at a rehab near you.

Find Help And Healing At Serenity Grove Recovery

At Serenity Grove, we firmly believe that no client is beyond hope. For several years now, we have been successfully helping people from all walks of life overcome their addictions and rebuild their futures anew.

We specialize in providing end-to-end care services for all, guiding clients through medical detox, residential care, outpatient treatment, and beyond. At our family-owned treatment center, we offer 24-hour nursing care for high-risk clients alongside several evidence-based therapies (EBT) and holistic practices.

It is never too late to change your life. Call us at 844.904.3485 or reach out online and let us help you on the road to recovery and sobriety today.