These are the 5 most addictive substances on the planet
As anyone who's consumed a cup of coffee knows, not all drugs are equally harmful. Caffeine, the most widely consumed psychoactive drug on Earth, is not a danger to human health.
To give people an idea of the most dangerous substances, a team of psychiatrists, chemists, and pharmacologists at the UK's Royal College of Psychiatrists systematically ranked them based on three factors: how much physical harm they cause, how addictive they are, and how much damage they do to society as a whole, judging by things like costs spent on health care. They published their findings in the medical journal The Lancet.
Here are the drugs that rank highest for dependency. The results might surprise you.
To assess the danger of each drug, the scientists looked at three types of effects.
1. Heroin ranked the highest on the list in terms of dependency.
The drug received a full three out of three in terms of pleasure, cravings, and physical dependence.
2. Cocaine received a three out of three in terms of pleasure.
However, it was deemed to be slightly less psychologically addictive than heroin and about half as physically addictive.
3. In terms of psychological addictiveness, nicotine was ranked as almost as addictive as cocaine.
Nicotine received a 2.6 out of 3 compared to cocaine's 2.8. But it was also deemed less pleasurable and far less physically addictive.
4. Barbiturates are sedative drugs that were once widely prescribed for anxiety.
This category includes brand-name drugs like Amobarbital and Thiopental. Barbiturates got a two out of three for overall dependency — they were ranked as less pleasurable and less physiologically and physically addictive than nicotine, heroin, and cocaine.
5. Alcohol was deemed less psychologically addictive than tobacco.
Alcohol and tobacco were ranked equally in terms of the "pleasure" aspect of their addictiveness, however, receiving a 2.3 out of 3. Alcohol and tobacco also had a similar physical dependence ranking overall.
Receive a single WhatsApp message every morning with all our latest news. Sign up here.
- Horse meat imports into SA have suddenly jumped – and we don’t know where most of it went
- Caltex will soon disappear as Sinopec comes to town
- 7 of SA's most exclusive country clubs, where membership can cost up to R1 million
- As SA moves to a ban on booze ads, remember the bizarre ads used to sell cigarettes?
- Sanlam has signed up South Africa’s second biggest church too – right in the middle of its very nasty civil war
- 28 brilliant questions to ask at the end of every job interview
- For the first time in four years, Standard Bank isn't South Africa's most hated bank
- Step by step: This is how SA scientists cracked the secret 'language' of listeria
- Christo Wiese drops off Forbes rich-list amid Steinhoff scandal – after losing R50 billion of his fortune
- MTN’s results show there is still money in plain old phone calls, and also war zones
- R260 million was spent to turn Cape Town into an ancient city for BBC's most expensive TV series ever
- How Cape Town avoided Day Zero and cut its water usage by 50% in 3 years - it took Melbourne 12 years to do the same
- Amazon says it's aware that some Echo devices are creepily laughing at people and it's working on a fix
- How to find a job on Google, now in South Africa
- A former Googler who started a job site says you should assume employers will find your social media — but you don't need to panic
- Music streaming service Spotify is finally 'coming to South Africa' next week
- 5G is going to make your cellphone faster than you can believe - and it is also going to be very expensive in South Africa
- Tons of recalled meat are headed for public landfill sites – and that could spell an entirely new disaster
- South Africa’s top YouTube channels feature musicians, health fanatics, wildlife – and a guy who teaches you how to play Minecraft