Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress

Drugs of Abuse

A number of substances are commonly misused and abused. These substances can cause a wide range of both short and long-term effects, even after just one use. The consequences of drug misuse and abuse can be serious, and in many cases, reach far beyond the individual using the substance.

Some of the most commonly abused drugs include:

The Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is a complex problem that arose as a result of both prescription drug and heroin misuse. The overprescription of legal opioid medications led to the greater availability of pills and social acceptability of using and sharing pills. The availability of heroin at a low cost also increased. In some cases, it is both easier and cheaper to get heroin than prescription opioids. Heroin is chemically very similar to prescription opioids; both have the potential to produce euphoric effects and become dangerously addictive.