Ask people which recreational drugs are most popular nowadays and you will probably get a variety of answers, but the end result will be similar. To really get an idea of which recreational drugs are on the must have lists it is helpful to also examine the decade. Dating back to the 20’s synthesized drugs were the choice because doctors administered them fairly freely, and since drug abuse wasn’t as apparent or spoken about as it was in later years, the regulation of it was minimal if at all. In fact the term drug abuse wasn’t used at all until the mid to late 1930’s. Fast forward to the 60’s when everything was ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’ and you would have found the drugs of choice to be marijuana and cocaine.
The 70’s drug users held fast to their pop smoking ways in spite of Regan’s failed efforts of a ‘war on drugs’ campaign, but much more prevalent during this era was cocaine. Because cocaine was easier to hide (you didn’t have to smoke it and it didn’t leave a billow of smoke behind) many users made this their drug of choice. Cocaine was also seen as more glamorous as people moved from the hippie era to one that was more sophisticated. Also popular during this colorful time was LSD for its hallucination effects.
The 80’s were all about vogue so messy was out and in came a whole new wave of barbiturates. Uppers and downers were rampant on the streets, cocaine was still used in high volumes and other psychedelic drugs like PCP and LSD, though still used, took a back seat to the more cost effective and longer lasting pills.
The 90’s saw the introduction of grunge and raves and that population brought along with it new drug favorites. When crack cocaine hit the African American and Latin community it was near unstoppable most due to the instantaneous effect the low cost. Ecstasy was also favored particularly for club goers and after years of dormancy, heroine saw its rise to fame in droves.
Just as with everything else, drug use and progression has evolved and in 2012 the sheer amount and variety of recreational drugs available are staggering. Here are the top 7 most used recreational drugs currently.
For legal and accessibility reasons, though many don’t classify alcohol as a drug, it is. Since anything that alters one’s state of mind qualifies, alcohol makes the top of the list. Recreationally, it is the most popular social drug available and it’s legal which makes it preferred. Not to mention the effects are long lasting, socially acceptable in almost all cultures and regions and it’s affordable. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol use contributed to over 2.5 million deaths in 2011 and 320,000 people between the ages of 15 and 29 died from alcohol related circumstances.
Solvents in all forms really made headway in the past few years and are particularly popular with teenagers because of its accessibility. Recreational solvents include glue, hairspray, nasal decongestants, and lighter fluid. Pretty much anything that contains harsh chemicals can be in this category. The effects of inhaling solvents are instantaneous and extremely harmful; but they can be found and bought in any local retail or hardware store and are cheap. Thousands have died from using solvents and the neurological damage that results is often times irreversible. Still, it is cheap and available and thus makes it one of the top used recreational drugs on the market today.
Marijuana since its infancy has always remained high on the do list when it comes to recreational drugs. Of any other drug, it is this one that has sparked the most controversy, as millions have tried to get this cannabis plant legalized. Because it affords the user a drunk like and almost euphoric status, but users can still keep their wits about them, however strange that sounds when talking about drugs, it remains ever popular.
Surprisingly heroin is still popular. Though it faded in other decades as other drugs came to the forefront and were marketed as ‘less dangerous’ still today heroin accounts for a large population of recreational drug use. Whether smoked, inhaled or injected the immediacy of this drug is what makes it so addictive and one of the hardest habits to kick once started.
Cocaine has been present for millenniums and back in the Victorian era was marketed (and freely given) as an amazing painkiller, appetite suppressant and anesthetic. The recovery from cocaine use is almost non-existent (meaning few withdrawal effects) and until the turn of the century it was incorporated in medicines, diet pills and even beverages. In the 1990’s original cocaine was transformed to crack cocaine, and could be manufactured cheaper and in higher quantities and took the streets by storm.
Ecstasy is yet another drug that humorously often isn’t seen as ‘that bad.’ This recreational drug was and still is most popular among club goers. Either swallowed in small tab form or inhaled through the nose, this drug makes one feel euphoric, highly sexual and increases the senses like no other drug on the market. Since people tend to get touchy feely while on it, it doesn’t have the negative connotations that other drugs, which may cause or promote violent acts do.
Amphetamines are ferociously used still as a recreational drug because they increase the serotonin and dopamine levels within the brain. These are particularly popular for those who suffer from depression, as the happy go lucky feeling one gets when taking them seems like an instance cure for moodiness and irritability. They are also highly concentrated stimulants, so users don’t feel fatigued; the energy felt when taking this drug are unsurpassed by other drugs for those who like the energizer bunny effect.