Drugs are considered vital for treating human diseases, but we must adhere to caution as certain drugs are prone to addiction if misused. Apart from marijuana, legal drugs/medicines are the most commonly abused drugs in the country. Over-the-counter medication or prescribed medicines are a boon to humans as they help us heal, but wrong usage can easily lead to addiction.

More than 16 million people in the US abuse drugs, and young adults are the most affected.

Here we see the list of the most commonly abused drugs and their impact on human health.


Opiates are sedative drugs that include pharmaceutical painkillers such as morphine and codeine, and illegal drugs like heroin. Opiates help in reducing the pain. Overdosage affects your central nervous system and stimulates the brain’s reward system that is responsible for pleasure points. 

Continuous usage of opiates affects the brain’s crucial functions and stops the brain signals. This can even lead to a coma or sudden death.

Heroin users mostly inject the drug through shared needles. This increases the risk of getting transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.


Methamphetamine termed “meth” is a white powder that is generally smoked, snorted or injected in the body. This powder is an ingredient of Pseudoephedrine—a decongestant that helps to relieve nasal congestion.

Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that fastens up one’s heartbeat and increases body temperature.

Regular usage of the drug can lead to dental problems such as tooth erosion because the meth powder is acidic.


Cocaine can make you feel energetic and elated. Its effects can last up to 30 to 40 minutes, and it is considered a highly addictive drug.

People generally snort cocaine powder, but it is also available in rock forms which can be smoked. Cocaine raises the heart rate and blood pressure, and an overdose can lead to sudden death.


Barbiturates are pills derived from barbituric acid. They are sedative agents that help people suffering from insomnia and seizures. They tend to calm you down.

Yet if one takes more than the prescribed quantity, they may get addicted to it. Overdosage or over-consumption combined with alcohol can lead to difficulty in breathing.

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

Dextromethorphan acts as a cough suppressant. It helps control coughs that occur because of common flu and throat irritation. The drug is most commonly overused by teenagers since DXM is easily-available as an OTC cough medication.

High dosage leads to hallucinations, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and brain damage.


Amphetamines help people suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The drug is a stimulant that can make you feel high, boosts energy, and reduces weight. 

Overdose can raise your body temperature and heartbeat and in rare cases, can cause a heart attack. Speed and bennies are common nicknames for amphetamines.

Bottom Line

Drug usage is significant for humans to heal from diseases. But the dosage matters the most. The higher the doses, the quicker your body will respond to it and can cause profound negative impact.