There is no question that certain drugs have specific benefits when used correctly, but where do we draw the line between drugs that are helpful and drugs that are harmful? Adderall, a stimulant, is extremely beneficial when it comes to helping someone focus when it is either difficult or unachievable, but when addiction sets in and daily function can no longer persist without the aid of that drug, has the helpful/harmful line been irrevocably crossed? Are we now in the territory of the most dangerous drugs or even the worst drugs in the world?
This list seeks to engage readers in a thoughtful discourse about what the worst drugs for you really are, and not which ones are simply the most addictive drugs (though many of the worst ones will likely also be the most addictive). The important thing to remember when considering what the most harmful drugs are is that there is no solid line between bad drugs and good drugs; many will consider alcohol an innocuous substance while others would rank it above crystal meth based on personal experiences.
Most times, when people begin using any type of drug, they do it seeking some sort of benefit such as stress relief from marijuana, increased focus from Ritalin, or pain relief from morphine. When the search for pleasure becomes a quest to relieve the pain of addiction or a fractured life brought on by a drug, that is when it crosses into the harmful category.
This list, as you may have gathered with the introduction of alcohol into the conversation, is not just about the most harmful illegal drugs, it's a catch-all of prescription drugs, pharmaceuticals, and "harmless" substances like caffeine. This poll is here to gather the opinions of real people as opposed to doctors and lawmakers who would deem the majority of this list of drugs harmful if used in any situation. All of the drugs on this list of worst drugs has a positive use and a negative abuse, and the point is to sort out one from the other and determine what the worst drugs really are (based on intended use, actual use, and potential addiction and side effects).
If you think a drug has no potential benefit for its user and will only come with negative side effects, vote it up to the top of the list of most harmful drugs. If you think something has a continuing value to the user and society, vote it down and make it known you think it is a harmless drug (or at least a beneficial drug when used correctly). If you think there is a drug that's bad for you not listed, make sure to add it so it can be part of the debate on which drug is the worst for you.
- 1Desomorphine is a synthetic opioid developed by Roche, with powerful, fast-acting effects,... more
- 2Heroin and commonly known by its street names of H, smack, boy, horse, brown, black, tar, and... more
- 3Crack cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked. It may also be termed rock,... more
- 4An opiate alkaloid isolated from the plant Papaver somniferum and produced synthetically.... more
- 5A synthetic, lipophilic phenylpiperidine opioid agonist with analgesic and anesthetic... more
- 6Mephedrone, also known as 4-methyl methcathinone (4-MMC) or 4-methyl ephedrone, is a synthetic... more
- 7Cocaine is a tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name... more
- 8Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant of the phenethylamine and... more
- 9Phencyclidine, commonly initialized as PCP and known colloquially as angel dust, KJ, illy, or... more
K2 (AKA Spice)
- 14Oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid synthesized from thebaine, an opioid alkaloid found in the... more
- 16A synthetic opioid with analgesic activity. Methadone mimics the actions of endogenous... more
- 18Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. Opium latex contains approximately 12%... more
- 20A triazolobenzodiazepine agent with anxiolytic, sedative-hypnotic and anticonvulsant... more
- 21A cyclohexanone derivative with analgesic and anesthetic properties. Although its mechanism of... more
- 22Methaqualone is a sedative-hypnotic drug that is similar in effect to barbiturates, a general... more
- 24Methylphenidate is a central nervous system stimulant of the phenethylamine and piperidine... more