Drugs go through phases of “popularity” or high occurrences of abuse and addiction. Drug addiction has been a problem for centuries. Alcoholism has existed as long as there has been alcohol. However, drugs go through phases of being well known and widely used to falling on the back burner. For example, marijuana was the rebellious drug of choice in the forties and fifties until it became more normalized. The sixties were known for a heavy focus on psychedelics and hallucinogens. Quickly, cocaine, barbiturates, quaaludes, and the early versions of benzodiazepines took over in the seventies. The cocaine highs of the seventies turned many to crack addiction in the eighties, which is also when opioid addiction started to become a more widely recognized addiction. In the nineties, opioid addiction started to come into the spotlight as beloved celebrities began dying of overdose. Today, America is facing an opioid crisis of epidemic proportions. In 2015, more people died of opioid overdose than they did of car accidents. For American Adults under the age of 50, opioid overdose is now considered a leading cause of death. In addition to opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and crystal meth as are also leading addictions. Synthetic drugs like synthetic opioids or synthetic amphetamines or methamphetamines are highly addictive and highly life-threatening. Cocaine and other drugs are still problematic but have thwarted in the shadow of opioid addiction. Many addicts who have spent years addicted to other drugs have turned to opioids and synthetics, causing a new outbreak of addictions. There has been an increase in addiction to psychedelic or hallucinogen drugs which aren’t LSD or mushrooms. Club drugs have become a subculture of addiction, which is rapidly increasing. MDMA, or ecstasy and ketamine are popular club drugs which can be addictive. Ketamine is a dissociative drug, part of a category with other highly addictive substances. Teenagers, for instance, are known to abuse dextromethorphan, also called DXM, is a dissociative ingredient found in most over the counter cold medications. Young people also have a problem with stimulant amphetamines like study drugs including Adderall and Ritalin.
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