Destructive And Deadly: 17 Most Dangerous Drugs In The United States Today

most dangerous drugs

Drug addiction in the United States is only getting worse. 21 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder. Between the years of 2015 and 2016, overdose deaths rose by 19 percent and they’re only climbing more.

In order to prevent addiction and overdosing, it’s important to know the most addictive and dangerous drugs.

Here are the most dangerous drugs in the U.S. The best way to avoid drug addiction is by avoiding these drugs.

1. Krokodil

Krokodil isn’t a drug you’ll find on a prescription and many resources know little about the drug. Krokodil is a homemade form of heroin, using desomorphine as the main ingredient.

Other ingredients include eye drops that contain codeine and additional chemicals. Some of these chemicals can include industrial cleaners, lighter fluid, and even gasoline.

While the U.S. produces krokodil, you’ll actually find this substance in countries where heroin and opiates are hard to find.

Many addicts also use krokodil during desperate measures, when no drug dealer is selling heroin or heroin becomes too expensive.

Because of its potent and dangerous ingredients, krokodil users don’t live longer than a few years.

2. N-Bombs

Psychedelics such as LSD are usually not dangerous or fatal. But imitation psychedelics are becoming more common and are far more dangerous. N-Bombs are at the top of this list.

“N-Bomb” is a shortened version of 251-NBOMe. Users describe N-Bombs as the euphoria you get from MDMA (ecstasy) but with hallucinations similar to LSD.

The reason why N-Bombs are dangerous is that many users don’t know how to take them. They’re more potent than traditional psychedelics. Users take higher amounts and are not aware of the dangers.

While N-Bombs aren’t always fatal, they are at high doses. You can also overdose on N-Bombs. Symptoms include heart attack, seizure, respiratory arrest, and death.

3. Opioids

Opioids have some of the highest overdose records in history. In 2013, 33,000 Americans died as a result of an opiate overdose.

Opioids work by entering the opioid receptors, reducing pain and increasing feelings of euphoria. Dangerous drugs like heroin also have this same effect.

There are a number of medications under the opioid blanket, OxyContin being the most popular.

Opioid addiction is scary because opiate use starts off as innocent. Opioids are prescribed after one endures surgery or is in any kind of pain.

They will develop a tolerance to the pills, forcing to take more for the same effects. This leads to addiction.

4. Gray Death

When opioid addiction becomes severe, many users take to dangerous actions when trying to get a “high.” This is when drugs such as the “gray death” were created.

The gray death is a combination of different opiates, crushed and the powder is a grayish color.

Every batch of the gray death is different. It usually comprises of different opiates such as fentanyl. But other drugs are sometimes added to the mix.

This drug is described as extremely potent. The dosage is smaller than the tip of your pinky. If you take any more, then it could be fatal.

5. Alcohol

Many people don’t consider alcohol as a dangerous drug. In reality, alcohol accounts for some of the highest addiction levels and fatalities. There are approximately 2,200 yearly deaths due to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning isn’t always sudden. Long-term drinking causes damage to the liver, heart, pancreas, and stomach. This can all be fatal.

Alcohol poisoning isn’t the only dangerous factor. Alcohol also causes reckless behavior such as drunk driving. This not only puts the user at risk but also other drivers on the road.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, confusion, irregular breathing, seizures, hyperthermia, and unconsciousness.

6. Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the most commonly used drugs. It’s an addictive drug made from the coca plant. Cocaine, also called coke, is a white powder that’s snorted.

Some people take coke out of addiction or habit. Others only see coke as a party drug.

Many users get hooked on the crystal form of cocaine, called crack. Crack is smoked and inhaled through the lungs. It’s more potent but cheaper than cocaine. This is why crack is far more addictive than cocaine.

Users describe coke and crack as complete euphoria. Both also leave the user awake and wired.

7. Bath Salts

Bath salts are a new kind of drug but their use is increasing exponentially. Bath salts are easy to find and don’t usually show up in drug tests. Unfortunately, they’re also addictive.

Bath salts are a crystalline powder that users either swallow, inhale or inject.

Their crystal powder appearance gave them the name “bath salts.”

Bath salts are completely manmade and are classified as stimulants. They’re made from cathinones and cause a similar reaction that you get from amphetamines.

Amphetamines cause feelings of intense euphoria, which is the why bath salts are highly addictive.

8. Flakka

Flakka is similar to bath salts. Flakka is made from cathinone. It’s a manmade substance that’s extremely addictive. Flakka looks like a pale-colored crystal.

Users either eat, snort, inject and even vaporize the flakka crystal.

Flakka is considered a stimulant. But there are many dangerous side effects.

Flakka causes hallucinations and a “Flakka trip” is common. Negative effects of a flakka trip include paranoia, violence, and self-harm.

Flakka horror stories have appeared online and even on the news. Flakka is nicknamed “the zombie drug” because of the violent behavior it can cause, as commonly seen in zombie movies.

Users reported harming and murdering others, even eating their flesh.

Using too much flakka can cause heart attack, kidney failure, and even suicide.

9. Ecstasy

While not addictive, ecstasy is one of the most common party drugs in the world.

Ecstasy is a man-made stimulant and a slight hallucinogen.

It gives users an intense sense of euphoria and an extreme energy boost.

It’s used at parties because it makes music and even lights more pleasurable. On ecstasy, you feel closer to those around you and activities such as sex feels better.

This reaction comes from the release of multiple “feel good” brain chemicals. This includes serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

While ecstasy overdose is uncommon, it does come with withdrawals.

Since all of your feel-good chemicals are released at one time, it’s common to feel depressed when the ecstasy effects wear off. The user may also feel confused and can develop sleep problems.

10. Heroin

While we discussed many variants of heroin, it’s important to discuss the famous white heroin powder that the user injects in their veins.

As mentioned previously, heroin activates your opioid receptors. This causes an intense euphoria like no user ever felt. This makes heroin highly addictive.

Most users inject heroin into their veins. But heroin can also be smoked.

Heroin use can quickly become deadly. Your tolerance increases, which makes users closer to overdosing. To recover from heroin addiction, detox is required.

11. LSD

LSD is a non-addictive hallucinogen. LSD use was at its highest in the 60s and was even used by famous figures such as The Beatles. But LSD is still one of the most common hallucinogens used today.

LSD is commonly called “acid” because it’s made from the acid found on rye and other grains.

LSD causes an intense hallucinogenic “trip.” The user will see, hear, and feel things that aren’t real. An LSD trip can last as long as 12 hours.

LSD isn’t a dangerous drug and very few fatalities have been reported.

But LSD can cause unwanted side effects. The most popular of which is a “bad trip.” LSD causes physical symptoms including dilated pupils, increased heart rate, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth and shakiness.

12. Mushrooms

Another non-addictive but potent hallucinogen are mushrooms. Not all mushrooms cause hallucinogenic effects. You only need to eat peyote and psilocybin mushrooms.

Most users eat the mushrooms straight, but some brew them in a tea or add them to other foods.

Mushrooms are different than LSD because the hallucinogenic effects come from psilocybin. Your hallucinations aren’t as intense and don’t last as long, but users state they start tripping as soon as 20 minutes after eating mushrooms.

Like LSD, the most dangerous side effect is a “bad trip.” A bad trip includes an altered perception of time and not knowing what is real and what isn’t. Both cause intense anxiety.

13. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive drug. Meth looks like a white powder that’s made from a combination of pseudoephedrine and toxic chemicals. Users either swallow, snort, inject or smoke the drug.

Meth is a stimulant that immediately gets you high.

The high doesn’t last long and users take more than they should. This is why meth is very addictive and detox is required during meth rehab.

The experience is similar to cocaine but more intense. Repeated use causes weight loss, skin sores, and dental issues.

While some users report euphoria from meth use, meth can also cause extreme paranoia. Other side effects include confusion, insomnia, hallucinations, and delusions.

14. Spice

Spice is a mixture of herbs and chemicals. It was once sold legally and available over-the-counter. But spice is now banned in many states.

Many users did not know of the dangers. Others mistake spice for marijuana, which looks similar to spice but is far safer and is legal in many states.

Like marijuana, spice activates the cannabinoid receptors. But unlike marijuana, which is natural, spice is synthetic. This makes it more dangerous and more potent.

This is why spice is similar to a marijuana high; you feel the euphoria but it’s non-addictive.

15. Salvia

Salvia is another drug that was once sold legally but is now banned. Like marijuana, salvia is a plant. But it’s far more dangerous than the marijuana plant.

Salvia is a mild hallucinogen. Users experience changes in vision, mood, emotions, and body sensations. The hallucinations only last 30 minutes but start as soon as five minutes after smoking it.

Even though the hallucinations are short, they’re some of the most intense someone will ever experience. That’s why salvia is the most potent naturally-occurring hallucinogen, more potent than mushrooms.

Salvia isn’t as dangerous as other drugs. But it can impact your memory and even your ability to retain knowledge.

16. Scopolamine

Nightshade is one of the deadliest plants in the world. Those who want a drug fix can take scopolamine, a drug derived from nightshade. However, because of its toxicity, many people use this drug as a quick way to murder others.

Scopolamine forces you to lose all self-control. The user will experience intense hallucinations. Users can even get violent. However, the user must take a low dose. One gram of scopolamine can kill as many as 20 people!

But scopolamine has had other uses. It was used successfully as a truth serum during the Cold War.

17. Cough Medicine

While many people take over-the-counter cough medicine to treat a cold, others use cough medicine to get drunk. This is especially popular among teens who can’t buy alcohol.

The sensation comes from codeine. The user ingests high amounts of codeine, making them feel drunk and woozy.

The most popular type of cough medicine abused is Robitussin, which is where the street term “robotrip” derived.

If you listen to hip hop that was popular in the 90s, you probably heard of the term “purple drank.” And no, we’re not talking about grape juice. Purple drank is a combination of soda water and cold medicine.

Ingesting too much codeine has dangerous side effects. This includes respiratory issues and heart failure.

The Most Dangerous Drugs: Don’t Use These Substances

From heroin to cough syrup, there are many deadly and addictive drugs. The best way to prevent drug addiction is to know the most dangerous drugs and to avoid them.

Even though drug use hasn’t slowed down, education is the key to live a healthy life.

Are you in Stuart, Florida and are addicted to drugs or alcohol? If you’re looking for help, take a look at our residential treatment.

Article Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.