The 5 Hardest Drugs to Kick
When determining which drugs are the hardest drugs to kick, it is helpful to see which the most addictive drugs are. These two concepts are pretty much synonymous. This is because rate of dependence and severity of withdrawal symptoms have everything to do with trying to kick a nasty drug habit.
The following is a list of the 5 hardest drugs to kick, from least to greatest in difficulty. This list is based on a study put together by Dutch scientists who replicated a London study and devised a â€śdependency ratingâ€ť that measures addictive potency of the biggest drugs out there. The scale of 0-to-3 shows how the hardest drugs to kick measure up.
#5 Crystal Meth 2.24
What makes crystal meth one of the hardest drugs to kick is that, like heroin and nicotine, meth also imitates dopamine, the reward chemical, and norepinephrine, the alertness chemical, causing your neurons to release more of bothâ€”all the while training your brain to want them more. But meth takes it a step further; it can damage dopamine- and norepinephrine-releasing neurons, which leads to a drastic decrease in their production, which makes you crave meth even more.
#4 Methadone 2.68
Basically legalized heroin, methadone is highly addictive because the way it works and is used as a treatment for heroin addiction is to build dependence. And in the case of methadone, dependence is the same as addiction.
Now, it is debatable whether methadone belongs at #4 on the list of hardest drugs to kick because, in my personal experience and from others who have shared their methadone experiences with me, I find it to be a much nastier drug to kick than heroin.
The withdrawals are hell on earth. Heroin withdrawal is said to be more acute but lasts for a much shorter period of time, about a week depending on usage and your body chemistry. Methadone withdrawal is really just as bad when it comes to the severity of the symptoms. What makes methadone harder to kick than heroin is that the withdrawal symptoms last for a longer period of time. And I mean a lot longer. For me it was about a month and a half before I started to feel normal again. Some people experience methadone withdrawal for even longer than that. Because of this, many people return to their drug use to feel better again, making methadone one of the top 5 hardest drugs to kick.
#3 Nicotine 2.82
Nicotine mimics chemicals that stimulate the â€śreward systemâ€ť in the brain and then actually replaces them. Nicotine addiction occurs because this replacement causes your brain to make less of the naturally occurring good stuff and so the brain now needs nicotine to maintain normal functioning.
Statistics donâ€™t lie: nicotine proves to be one of the hardest drugs to kick by the sheer number of nicotine addicts in the US: 50,000,000; and one in every five deaths nationwide are the result of smoking.
And actually, there is a tie for spots 2 and 3 which many may find surprising. Thatâ€™s right, the study found that nicotine is just as hard to kick as crack cocaine.
#2 Crack Cocaine 2.82
Although crack is comprised of cocaine, smoking processed crack causes a faster, higher rush that lasts for less time than powder coke. The intensity of the crack high combined with the efficient method of useâ€”smokingâ€”are the big reasons why crack is number two in the top 5 hardest drugs to kick.
Crack addiction is dramatically higher than that of snorted cocaine powder. In 2010, there were an estimated 500,000 active crack cocaine addicts in the United States. And although not physical in nature, the psychological withdrawal symptoms from crack are intense and terrifying: hallucinations, severe anxiety, and depression.
#1 Heroin 2.89
Again, statistics show how heroin is one of the hardest drugs to kick. In the US in 2003, an estimated 281,000 people sought treatment for heroin addiction, and according to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, 23% of people who try heroin become full on addicts.
Heroin is easy to get hooked on. It reduces pain while at the same time causes pleasure. Who wouldnâ€™t want to feel this way? By injecting, snorting or smoking heroin, you are training your brain to make you crave it. After you are physically dependent on heroin, the nasty withdrawal symptoms are enough to keep you coming back for more. Itâ€™s clear that heroin is the hardest drug to kick once youâ€™re hooked on it.
Â Honorable Mention(s):
Alcohol and Benzodiazepines
Both alcohol and benzos (such as Valium and Xanax) are also some of the hardest drugs to kick because the withdrawal symptoms that result from trying to kick cold turkey are very intense and even possibly fatal. People who stop using alcohol and benzos can experience hallucinations, sweats, anxiety, tremors, seizures, cardiac arrest and even death as a result of these symptoms.