Which Drugs Are The Hardest To Quit?

Drugs change our brain significantly when we intake them, especially on a daily basis. The majority of substances that people abuse react with the production or absorption to the neurotransmitter dopamine which regulates mood, feelings, will and memory. When the changes caused by the drugs become fixed, then a drug dependency forms and leaves sharp scars in the form of withdrawal symptoms.

These symptoms, which can come physically and psychologically, can reduce the chance of recovery for 50% as none of them are comfortable. The symptoms can even be life-threatening in some specific cases. Therefore, it is not recommended to start with “cold turkey” method where you suddenly stop quit using drugs and start withdrawal process on your own. Each addict and addiction type must be approached with the professional help and experience. Now, I will make a list of drugs that have hard withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin and other opioids

HeroinMore than four million of Americans use heroin or its replacement drugs (prescription opioids) like OxyContin, Vicodin or Methadone. Heroin and those mentioned PDs can be snorted, smoked or injected for feeling the mellow and warm euphoric feeling called “high.” Opioid intoxication reflects regarding pain relief, relaxation and a rush of pleasure, which renders it as one of the strongest substance abuse. Heroin is famous for its harsh withdrawal symptoms – twelve hours from the last dose an addict starts feeling a crisis which peaks within a day or two. Those days are accompanied by the worst flu you could get, combined with sweating, chills, nausea, physical pain all over the body, insomnia, extreme irritability, depression and lack of mental clarity.

Cocaine and crack cocaine

This powerful stimulant comes in the form of powder or rocks. Cocaine is usually snorted, although it can be smoked (crack cocaine) or injected (usually mixed with heroin-speedball), reflecting in extreme alertness, excitement, and euphoria. After the longer use, tolerance develops easily, and an addict needs more and more cocaine to reach the same effect and level. Cocaine is known for its “crash,” an extreme feeling of dullness, depression, and fatigue. The process of quitting the cocaine is followed by restlessness, intense drug craving, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Since the cocaine addiction is spreading like an epidemic, medical professionals developed propranolol – a beta blocker that may ease a bit the whole withdrawal process.

Methamphetamine and crystal meth


Methamphetamine is a strong stimulant, often made by DIY methods, that can often be found in the form of crystals, called crystal meth. Although the crystal meth is much more potent than methamphetamine in powder form, both forms develop a severe addiction, followed by heavy forms of psychosis, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Detox is usually the first step in the treatment process since addicts can control their cravings. Also, the patients are violent and can inflict serious damage to themselves as well as other people around them.

From personal experience

From my experience, I have had most problems with heroin since it has the hardest withdrawal process and requires from you to be cautious and aware of the problem you have all the time. I have used meth, cocaine as well as other drugs, but the heroin is the worst by far. During the days when the heroin is not available, you would sell anything to get it, including your friends and family.

How Start Drug Addiction Treatment Successfully?

Treating drug addiction is not an easy thing to do at all, but it is far away from the mission impossible and something you could not achieve with the right help. One thing you must have in mind all the time: you are not alone in the fight as you will meet other people who also the same problem and together you will manage to take the problem under control. However, it is crucial to follow some of the basics steps in the process of recovery.

Admit the problem of addiction


The first thing that you must do if you want to start your treatment is to admit yourself, as well as your friends and everyone who wants to help you, that you have an addiction problem. The substance dependence is a severe illness, and it could likely end up with death so you should take your problem seriously and be cooperative. You should respect, love and appreciate the help you get from everyone out there who care for you and in return, you need to be determined to keep your persistence and patience at the high level. The fight will not be easy at all so prepare yourself for temptations.

Finding the right treatment for the addiction

Each drug addiction is different since each of the addiction cases has its stage. Some people do not require going to the detoxification program due to their shorter period of addiction while hardcore drug users must undergo detox program before starting a rehab process. One-size-fits-all does not exist but each type of treatment posses everything for a patient so he can achieve recovery successfully. With careful monitoring, even hardcore addicts can reach a vital point for their recovery and start working on their resocializing process.

Working closely with therapists

Drug TherapyThe reports have shown that therapists improve chances for a complete recovery of 50%. Therapists understand the problem of addiction, the profile of addict and match the right therapy for an addict.

Psychodynamic therapy is one of commonest therapies in the treatment process since an addict explores his emotions to identify the cause of substance abuse. This way the addict learns to control his drug cravings as he understands the problem. This therapy is also combined with MET or Motivational Enhancement Therapy where patients learn to change negative thoughts from their addiction into a positive.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which helps patients to unmask their problematic feelings, is often used in combination with DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, where the addict learns to improve his self-esteem and remove “triggers” from his life. Experiential therapy is becoming more and more available in the recovery centers as the key point is learning to overcome repressed feelings that can trigger drug cravings.

Why Is It So Hard To Quit Drugs?

People start using drugs to make their lives easier or to say – cope with problems much easier. Some people use drugs for recreational purposes for more than ten years continually and never get hooked on. But that percent of people is really small and they, as well as people who never used any drug, cannot realize how and why it’s hard to quit drugs.

Ruined chemical balance, tolerance, and withdrawal

Think of our brain as a vast communication center which receives and sends messages to process what we see, feel, hear, etc. Drugs use our neurotransmitters (messages) and can increase or decrease the production of these transmitters. They can even affect the time of activity or existence for our transmitters or “land” on natural receptors and artificially activate neurotransmitters. It means the drug starts affecting your chemical balance.

More dopamine than your body creates

DrugDrugs often produce more dopamine than natural dopamine activities like sex or eating your favorite meal. Therefore, it is much harder to resist the drug intake since it gives you more pleasure than anything else. Consequently, your brain does not even think about the drug; it thinks about the pleasure that drugs produce. The more dopamine drugs release, the harder is for your brain to keep up with the production of it. It eventually leads to depression and addiction later since nothing can produce enough dopamine so you could feel happy.

When your body is used to the drug, you start developing a tolerance. You need to take more and more to get to the same level of happiness. From the very first moment when you do not intake enough amount of drug, you start feeling weak. You are experiencing a withdrawal which can be very painful and uncomfortable, both physically and psychologically.

It is hard to get rid of “the habit”

Process of withdrawal is tough when you decide to seek help after a long-term addiction. Your brain and your body are already accustomed to the drug, and you developed a so called habit. Only strong will, determination and support from your friends can help you to leave your habit behind.