Top 10 Most Popular Recreational Drugs


The Most Popular Recreational Drugs, Ranked

Most Popular Recreational DrugsIn the last decade or so, recreational drug use has shed some of its mystique.  In fact, recreational drug use has become a commonality for many in today’s society. Not surprisingly, use trends, based on data from the National Institute on Drugs Abuse peg teens and young adults as the highest use sectors of society. Unfortunately, these substances have not lost their power to derail lives.  In fact, in some instances the recreational drugs of today have segued into even more toxic and potent than ever before.

Ten of the most popular recreational drugs in use today include:

1.) Cocaine has expanded its reach from being primarily a drug for the elite to include more of America’s college grads and young professionals. The rush produced by this powerful drug that is extracted from the coca plant is now sought out by at least 1.5 million people twelve years and older.  Cocaine’s popularity has only seen a marginal decrease despite the emergence of several new recreational drugs and barely a budge in price for the last decade or so.  The cost of cocaine in the United States is typically about $150 per gram.  Street dealers make it more affordable for their younger, less affluent consumers by blending cocaine with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder or sugar.

2.) Crack Cocaine is the cheaper deadlier cousin to cocaine. And, despite the fact that this drug has got lots of competition, it continues to top the list as one of the most popular recreational and most abused drugs. Part of the reason is that crack cocaine is not only cheap and easily accessible, it is easy to produce and packs a euphoric high.  Despite a periodic wane in popularity, this powerful substance described as a “poor man’s high” is said to be three times harder to kick than cocaine.

3.) Heroine’s reputation as a deadly killer has not diminished its appeal to drug users. The resurgence of Heroin as a popularity drug of choice was not unnoticed. The sharp spike in users from 373,000 to more than 660,000 mostly by suburban and rural consumers according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has also resulted in a 45% increase in overdose deaths during the same period.  Contributing the uptick in heroin use was widespread prescription drug abuse that has also been flagged as a massive urban problem for law enforcement and public health officials.

4.) LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) enjoys somewhat of a cyclic popularity that is once again on the rise primarily among Caucasian middle-class high school and college students. It is reportedly one of the most potent hallucinogenic drug that was discovered a Swiss chemist who developed the drug while seeking a cure for the common cold. Over 4% of American high school seniors in the most recent survey admitted trying it with an approximately 22.7 million Americans admitting to experimenting with LSD in their lifetime.

5.) Marijuana continues to be one of the most popular and commonly used recreational drug worldwide across all demographics. Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the hemp or cannabis plants. In the last decade or so, alterations in modern farming methods has heightened the potency by varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the mind-altering compound in the marijuana plants.

6.) MDMA also referred to as Adam, Ecstasy and Molly continues to be a popular recreational drug for young adults. Despite the fact this drugs has the potential to cause serious harm such as overheating the body and brain resulting in severe dehydration, stroke, heart attack and death, it is nevertheless one of the most popular substance found at music festivals, parties and dance clubs.

7.) Methamphtamine also referred to as crystal meth, ice and a number of other catchy street terms has become even deadlier in recent years. Typically smoked in glass pipes the popularity of this recreational drug has not waned over the years. In fact, its long-standing popularity as a drug of choice can be attributed to the fact production cost is relatively easy and cheap which naturally gets passed on the consumer. Meth is also highly addictive that is difficult to quit which help to maintain its high in-demand status.

8.) Mushrooms that contain hallucinogens such as psilocybin and psilocin. With over 180 varieties such as “magic mushrooms” (psilocybin) and Mescaline (peyote and other cacti these mushrooms have always been recognized as a popular recreational drug and a throwback to the Hippie movement of the 1970s. Based on a recent study, an estimated 32 million people in the United States reported recent use of mushrooms for recreational purposes. They include varieties in fact, this recreational drug enjoys a high rate of lifetime use by both men and women between the ages of 30 to 34 with a preference for  the magic mushroom varity by young adults 18 to 25.

9.) Snythetic Cannabinoids (synthetic Marijuana) also known as “Spice” or “K2) Synthetic Cannabinoids are chemically engineered substances designed to mimic the effects of the THC ingredient in marijuana. These man-made substances consisting of mostly dried herbs that are treated with chemical soaks or sprays.

10.) Synthetic Cathinones also referred to as bath salts, like synthetic marijuana, is a fairly new group of recreational drugs. These however, are primarily a bi-product of cathinone, a psychoactive substance from the Khat plant. Until 2010 the shifting composition of these synthetic drugs stayed mostly under the radar of law enforcement.  As a result consumers were able to legally purchase these drugs in crystallized, powder or pill form in convenience, botanical stores and online stores. Since 2011, however, legislative bans in all 50 states have limited accessibility.

Early education of the dangers of abusing these recreational substances have been shown to help more young people reject recreational drug use above other activities more consistently.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of White Sands Treatment Center. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At White Sands Treatment Center, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.

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