4.3.1 Addiction

Addiction #

Nobody becomes addicted through choice. It is a hazard which is endemic to the use of most drugs, although not all. However, even for the most addictive of drugs, it is a risk that can be reduced (but not eliminated) if the steps outlined in the first section of this book are religiously followed.

For example, to mitigate the risk during the research undertaken for this book, I never, ever, used the same drug, or even a drug from the same class, for at least two weeks following the initial experiment. Invariably, the gap was substantially longer.

In recent years, various parties have sought to rank common drugs by order of addiction potential. As referenced earlier, the usual suspects tend to appear at the top. The table below presents some of the most frequently cited initiatives:

The Conversation Addiction Center AlterNet
1 Heroin Heroin Heroin
2 Cocaine Alcohol Crack Cocaine
3 Nicotine Cocaine Nicotine
4 Barbiturates Barbiturates Methadone
5 Alcohol Nicotine Crystal Meth

*The list produced by The Conversation was derived from the same 2007 articles in the Lancet as discussed in Section 4.2 The AlterNet report refers to the source as a panel of Dutch Scientists, which replicated the earlier study.

As these are somewhat stilted towards individual and transient street names, a better perspective may be to consider each as a representative of a class. For example, heroin is an opioid - other members of the family tend to be just as addictive.

These, however, are simply the headliners. Everyone is different, and is uniquely susceptible. Many drugs not included on these lists are just as addictive, and claim countless lives.

This is not an area in which to take risks, or to betray common sense. Every person reading this should know the dire consequences of addiction, and the gravity of the pain and suffering it causes. If in doubt, head over to YouTube or Google and take a closer look at the personal catastrophes and the destruction of lives on show. Or check out Reddit, and count the number of lost Subreddit members.

Don’t skirt around the edges with this, or you could easily be bitten, horribly.