The Top 5 Hardest Drugs to Kick

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According to, the top five hardest drugs to quit based on a three-point dependence rating are:

  1. Heroin- Long established as an extremely difficult drug to kick, heroin gets a 2.89 dependence rating on a 3.0 scale.  The opioid drug that mimics endorphins in the brain resulting in a powerful high.  An estimated 281,000 people received treatment for heroin addiction in the U.S. in 2003, according to the National Institute on Drug Addiction. And with the alarming rise of young people making the switch from opioid prescription drugs like Oxycontin to heroin, we’ve got a major problem on our hands.
  2. Crack cocaine- More powerful than powder cocaine, crack cocaine comes in at a 2.82 dependence rating.  Smoking cocaine crack cocaine causes a faster high that lasts for about 10 minutes compared with powder cocaine’s 15-30 minute high. The quick, intense high leads to dramatically higher rates of addiction. According to The Fix, there were an estimated 500,000 active crack addicts in the U.S. in 2010.
  3. Nicotine- It’s well known that nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit.  It’s not surprising then that the drug has a 2.82 dependence rating.  Nicotine is similar to heroin and crack in that it mimics a common neurotransmitter, and frequent users often reach a point where they have to ingest the drug regularly just to maintain normal brain function. Nicotine doesn’t sound so innocent when you consider that one in every five deaths are smoking related and there are a whopping 50 million users in the U.S.
  4. Methadone- Touted for its ability to help users stay off heroin, methadone comes in at a 2.68 dependence rating and can easily become addictive itself.
  5. Crystal meth- This drug imitates dopamine and norepinephrine and causes the brain to release more of these chemicals, resulting in feelings of euphoria and increased energy.  What often ensues is a vicious cycle of abuse that can ultimately result in the brain’s inability to produce these chemicals on its own.

If you or a loved one has a drug or alcohol addiction Northbound Treatment Centers can help with individualized treatment at its state-of-the-art rehab treatment center.  With carefully monitored detox treatment and excellent counseling programs, Northbound has helped many individuals recover from substance addictions.  Visit our website to learn more about our treatment options.

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