Drug Addiction Treatment
Most Addictive Drugs in Columbus, Ohio
By BrightView
Published: September 2, 2020
Updated: August 1, 2021

You might be surprised at what the most addictive drugs are. From illicit drugs to commonly prescribed substances, this list encompasses the substances that can cause physical and psychological dependence. Drug addiction should be taken very seriously. In the United States alone, there are millions of Americans struggling with some form of drug addiction. In 2015, 45 percent of all fatal overdoses in Ohio were caused by heroin. Alcohol and marijuana abuse among adolescents in Ohio is also higher than the national average, making youth education and prevention initiatives top priorities for state officials.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug abuse or addiction in Ohio, reach out to our outpatient treatment center at 888.501.9865 today.

What Are the Most Addictive Drugs?

The most addictive substances and deadliest drugs that people become dependent on can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Barbiturates
  • Crystal meth
  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines


Heroin is an opiate drug that is made from morphine. This extremely addictive drug can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin can be found in the form of a powder that is either white or brown, along with a sticky black substance known as “black tar.” Ohio is currently facing a serious epidemic related to heroin addiction and other opioid drugs (painkillers), including prescription opioids. Reach out to our heroin addiction treatment program for help.


Cocaine is an addictive stimulant. This common street drug is derived from the coca plant. The drug is distributed as a white powder. Unfortunately, the drug is commonly mixed with other substances such as starches, flours, or even other drugs like amphetamines and opioids. Cocaine is typically taken by snorting and quickly delivers the brain with dopamine, creating an intense high that is short-lived. This results in the drug’s addictiveness because users want to keep recreating the high. Cocaine can also be manufactured in rock form, which is known as “crack” cocaine.

Crack Cocaine

As noted above, crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that has been manufactured into rock form. Crack cocaine is quite potent and creates an intense high that kicks in faster. The chemical high lasts less time than cocaine (usually only about 10 minutes), so those who are struggling with addiction typically seek higher and more frequent doses to regain their high. While the high from crack creates feelings of excitement, energy, and happiness, coming down from the drug creates the opposite feelings. Addicted persons can experience extreme depression, anxiety, and anger.


People often do not consider alcohol to be a drug, but alcohol abuse is incredibly common. Alcohol is a legal substance that is widely available. Similar to other drugs, alcohol takes effect by releasing dopamine into the brain. Alcohol use can quickly become out of control when people rely on it to help them release endorphins. It is all too common to “just have a few drinks” in order to relax. Sadly, alcohol can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms, so it is important that those addicted to alcohol seek treatment for their condition. The fact many people find it harmless is why it is one of the most addictive drugs in Columbus, Ohio. If you are struggling with addiction, we offer a Columbus, Ohio addiction treatment center with alcohol addiction treatment.


Similar to alcohol, nicotine is a legal drug that is readily available in many over-the-counter tobacco products and now e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Despite increased health warnings and crackdowns on the tobacco industry, in the United States, those who are 21 years of age or older, in most states, can purchase nicotine and tobacco products. Unfortunately, it is all too common for these products to also end up in the hands of minors, who are becoming addicted to nicotine at an early age. A 2018 National Survey that was conducted on drug use and health showed that 55% of individuals 12 or older had tried cigarettes in their lifetime, while over 17% of those same individuals had tried cigarettes in the past year.


Barbiturates are a type of prescription drug that used to be commonly prescribed by physicians to treat conditions such as anxiety. These depressants can be used in the treatment of epilepsy as well, although they are prescribed far less often than they used to be due to their addictive nature. Barbiturates are illegally distributed on the street and are quite addictive. Often referred to as “downers,” these drugs can be used to counteract the effects of stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a form of methamphetamine. This entire class of drugs is man-made and extremely harmful. This substance creates an intense high and sense of euphoria. It can also evoke psychosis and aggressive or violent behavior at higher dose levels. The drug is very addictive. It causes the brain to become reliant on the increased dopamine and norepinephrine that it creates. Over time, this also makes the brain less able to produce these chemicals on its own.


These drugs are legally prescribed and used for treating common disorders like ADD and ADHD. When amphetamines are not used for their prescribed purpose, not only can they be very addictive, they can also cause a variety of side effects. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Trouble speaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Heart problems


Benzodiazepines are a classification of prescription drugs that are often prescribed to patients dealing with anxiety. These include pharmaceuticals such as Xanax. Benzodiazepines can be addictive, particularly when abused for purposes other than their intended use.

Reach Out to BrightView Today

If you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on drugs, help is available. It does not matter if the addiction is to illegal drugs or common legal drugs like alcohol; this is a disease that can take over your life. BrightView’s addiction treatment programs focus on providing a comprehensive, outpatient approach to drug treatment. We offer medication assisted treatment, or MAT, along with a combination of individual and group counseling sessions. Our treatment center’s proven approach helps patients achieve the best chance at long-term recovery. If you need help, contact us today. Our Columbus treatment center can help you rebuild your life. Connect with our team 24 hours a day by calling 888.501.9865 and begin your journey to recovery.