It is hard to define precisely which 10 least addictive drugs are, or how many drug users there are in the world. The final number is likely to never be known, of course many people attempt to hide their drug use. Although doctors, sociologists, psychologists and many other scientists try to predict the growth rate in the number of drug users, or at least define the current number, there is still not enough information about drugs and the people who are addicted to these chemical substances. If you are having difficulty with addiction, you can check out helpful resources here.
As opposed to the list of 6 Least Acidic Alcoholic Drinks, for which only the knowledge of chemistry was necessary to compile it, making this list requires more effort. Reasons for using drugs and how they will behave in our body are different. Sometimes, people use drugs just for fun, to spend a couple of hours with friends or dance freely without barriers. We know that there are people who use drugs to make their sexual life better and more exotic. Some people use drugs to stop or prevent anxiety or depression, or they start with prescribed drugs to reduce pain after diseases or health problems and then continue with harder or illegal drugs because they want to keep capturing that illusive feeling. Whatever the reason is, every drug is harmful and can cause serious mental and health problems.
Every time we discuss drug abuse, we start with teenagers and their reasons for using drugs. Although some precise surveys in the USA about 8th, 10th, and 12th graders show a decreasing number of drug users, people still expect a high number of drug users among teenagers. It is true that they usually try some type of drug usually at that age, mostly because of the high pressure of life transitions, social and emotional challenges or changes in life, plans, and expectations. Most often, the reason is pressure from society, teachers, and parents. Finally, they try experimenting and finding new sources of being happy and fitting in.
Some sources (Dr. Neil I. Bernstein’s book) name 8 reasons why teenagers try drugs (although these pieces of information are not clearly explained) – other people, TV, escape, boredom, rebellion, good effects, low confidence and not much information about health problems caused by using drugs.
The number of users, on the other hand, is growing among college students and young adults, and that number is now at its highest point since 1980 when the first survey was done. Although the survey from 2007 showed that there are some socioeconomic factors (including the family as the first risk factor) for starting with drugs, it is more likely that people start with drugs because of the high level of pressure at work, and because of their career. Some people said that money should be in the first place on the list of 10 MOST addictive drugs because it is their best drug.
There is also a growing problem (some scientists call it an epidemic) of numerous nurses who use drugs. About 40,000 nurses are addicted to alcohol; the number of nurses who are marijuana users is 3.5 times higher, and there are a very high number of oncology nurses addicted to cocaine. They are under pressure and a high level of stress, anxiety, depression and the feeling of helplessness.
After the first surveys from the 1990s showed very serious problems in this field, many psychologists tried to explain the reasons behind this very dangerous phenomenon. First, it is a way to struggle with high demands and difficult and responsible jobs. Then, there is a problem with availability (prescribed drugs) and then a big stigma about the physical problems and stereotypes concerning the addiction. They know a lot about drugs, but are unaware of the physical addiction and the desire to take again the substance which helped them before.
Finally, many surveys have shown that 17% of older adults are addicted to some type of a prescribed drug, mostly legally recommended by doctors due to the patient’s health problems, chronic pain or another disease. They do not use drugs for fun, but mostly because of serious health problems which prolonged the usage of pain killers.
These are all the reasons why the scientist David Nutt has made a list of least and most harmful addictive drugs, according to their influence on the human body. He knew that every drug has chemical factors which cause addiction, but there are many other reasons why some substances are more likely to make people addicted, like personal reasons, social and economic factors, price, availability and more. David Nutt has counted 16 parameters for the purpose of his research and at the top of the list of the most dangerous drugs he has put heroin, with number 3 as the most addictive drug. He compared 20 common drugs on the market and made a list of drugs according to how they are accepted and processed by the human body. So, let’s finally see those least addictive drugs, while keeping in mind that least addictive doesn’t necessarily mean least harmful, as all the drugs are dangerous.
10. Cannabis (Marijuana)
Addiction rate: 1.51
One piece of information about cannabis says that almost 4.5% of the world population aged 18-65 use cannabis. It is one of the most popular drugs among teenagers, perhaps because it is widespread and very simple to use. Everybody can grow weed at home or buy it on the street. Many countries have started a battle to legalize this drug at least for medical purposes, because it has been proven that it can be used successfully in pain treatment.
Addiction rate: 1.3
Since it contains a high level of serotonin, this drug, among he other least addictive drugs on our list, causes euphoria and happiness a short time after it is used. However, it can also cause hypothermia and organ failure, so it is stated as the cause of many deaths–although it has never been tested on humans in the laboratory.
8. Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
Addiction rate: 1.25
It is not fair to give children Ritalin to manage the ADHD (a disease called “hyperactivity”), expect from them to change their behavior and then grow up and simply stop using it. Many doctors are warning that even 19% of children take prescribed drugs and that, although it is not harmful during the first years of usage, this leads to addiction and many other changes in their behavior and health.
Addiction rate: 1.23
Next in line on our list of least addictive drugs is known for psychedelic visions and the combination with rock music in the 1960s, this drug does not want to stop teasing new generations of users in the world. Maybe it is because of hallucinations this drug causes or a long history of usage and definitely because it is easy to use (just licking photos of your favorite cartoon hero is enough), but people still adore and use this drug at parties to get energy and be euphoric.
Addiction rate: 1.19
Commonly known as Rohypnol or “rape drug”, this substance causes depression and deep sleep, so rapists usually use it for sexual assaults. It is natural acid from our body, but this time used as a cure for sleep disorders and narcolepsy treatment. Unfortunately, it can be very harmful to people who do not know that they took it.
5. MDMA (Ecstasy / Molly)
Addiction rate: 1.13
Is there any chance that you do not know what this drug causes? In the middle of the list of 10 least addictive drugs is a drug which was very popular in the 1990s when people used it at parties to have more energy to dance all night. It can also be found in the form of photos or tablets like amphetamines, but this time it is a drug which is more dangerous for the heart and health. Giving energy for dancing all night is actually very harmful to health because a person literally cannot stop and rest.
Addiction rate: 1.04
Next on the list of least addictive drugs is actually a herbal drug from Africa, especially Somalia, which is very popular among the adult population there. Since it causes relaxation and calmness, people chew its leaves daily, as a part of their culture. That is why is it hard to define how many people actually use this drug, especially among the East European and American populations. There are many proofs that Africans who came to the US started growing this plant in their homes.
3. Inhalants (Solvents)
Addiction rate: 1.01
This is one of the drugs which are popular among nurses and teenagers and one of the least addictive drugs on our list. Being easy to use and very available in hospitals, it can often be found in pockets of medical workers. As their name says, they are inhaled which is why they are easy to use by literally everyone.
2. Anabolic Steroids
Addiction rate: 0.88
It is hard to say if this is a drug or not knowing that sportsmen use it for boosting muscles. Although they claim that a careful usage cannot harm their health, because it’s aong the least addictive drugs, it is hard to stop young people, new in gyms, from using it excessively. High doses over a long period of time can be very harmful to the heart and health.
1. “Poppers” (Alkyl Nitrates)
Addiction rate: 0.87
This drug is very easy to use because it needs to be inhaled just before the wanted effects. Usually, it is used at parties in clubs, but there are many proofs that people use it as a sexual helper, too. Allegedly, it stops all barriers and obstacles. It became highly popular at rave parties during the 1990s. Although it is commonly used at parties and can cause desire for a repeated usage, it is in the first place on the list of 10 least addictive drugs because of the low addiction rate on the David’s list.