5 Deadliest Drugs: What You Need to Know

legal and illegal drugs

When drugs come into a person’s life they are first under the impression that the drugs are going to make them happier and cause them to have a better social life. The cruel truth about drugs is that once someone passes the happy stage in life they will then be subjected to the dangerous aspects of addiction that can include heart attack, seizures and death. Every year millions of people across the globe die from drug addiction and drug related incidents. Drug addiction is deadly and no matter if a substance is legal or not, it should always be considered dangerous if you are considering taking any form of a drug. The 5 deadliest drugs in today’s world include:

  1. Nicotine
  2. Alcohol
  3. Prescription drugs
  4. Cocaine
  5. Heroin

Below is a breakdown of these five deadly drugs, some of the effects they have on a person’s mind and body, and the number of deaths attributed to each drug annually.


Nicotine causes 440,000 deaths in America annually. The numbers are correct, almost half a million people in America die every year due to nicotine related problems. This legal substance causes a person to have a high chance of:

  • Heart damage
  • Artery blockages
  • Brain damage
  • Lung cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Heart failure
  • Bronchitis
  • Stroke

The health risks of this toxic substance should be enough to make people want to stop using these products, right? Wrong! Millions of Americans waste thousands of dollars each every year feeding their addiction to nicotine. Whether that addiction comes in the form of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc. these people put themselves at very high health risks every day that they use.


Alcohol is number two of the deadliest drugs and it is ironic how the top two are both legal for people to purchase after they have reached the right age limit. It causes 80,000 deaths in America annually. These individuals die from car wrecks, alcohol poisoning, etc., but they also die from the health risks of using alcohol that includes:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart failure
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Depression which can lead to suicide

Of all five of the drugs mentioned, alcohol is the one drug that is widely used by people from all different backgrounds. This drug is used for celebrations, for having a good time, and as a way to help calm nerves to better social skills, but no one seems to be concerned about the damage they are doing to their body every single time they drink a drink.

Prescription Drugs

Prescriptions are given to people that are having reoccurring headaches, who have a fever, are going through a rough time in their life or want to shed some undesired pounds; but when is a prescription going from helping to addiction?  These drugs cause 32,000 deaths in America annually.  As you can see there are just as many prescription deaths in America annually as there are alcohol related deaths. These pills, syrups, etc. that were designed for help are now being abused and causing quite a problem in modern society. Common prescription side effects list:

  • Liver and kidney damage or failure
  • Heart damage, heart attack
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Blood clots
  • Dementia
  • Suicidal thoughts


It’s a pity that drugs that are not even legal in the United States are on the top 5 deadliest drugs, but unfortunately cocaine and heroin rank in at #4 and #5. They are responsible for over 2,500 deaths in America annually. Cocaine is a mixture of toxic chemicals that are strained and cut with other toxic products etc. that when you ingest this drug you have a high chance of overdose if you are not careful with your dosing. Cocaine can cause:

  • Failure of major organs
  • Stroke
  • Infections
  • Seizures
  • Brain damage


In both illegal drugs shown on this article, this number does not reflect the large amounts of people that did not report their family members death being attributed to heroin or cocaine. It is the cause of over 2,000 deaths in America annually.  Heroin causes side effects such as:

  • Infection
  • Collapsed veins
  • Major organ failure
  • Brain damage
  • Oxygen deprivation to vital organs

Anyone struggling with addiction to any of the five deadliest drugs should seek help immediately in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Recovery is possible, regardless of how advanced the addiction has become, unless you wait until it’s too late and overdose or death occurs.  Take steps now to put an end to this deadly addiction.

14 thoughts on “5 Deadliest Drugs: What You Need to Know

  1. ryan says:

    It is so wild to think of nicotine like this, but it honestly is the most dangerous drug out there. It is legal and so many people are hooked. I have dealt with addiction to nicotine most of my life. It is a terrible feeling trying to get off of it.

  2. Brenna Kennedy-Moore says:

    Wow, those statistics are scary, especially since these substances (alcohol in particular) are so ingrained in our culture that people forget they are harmful. It’s good to have a reminder of the real effects though. Thank you for sharing!

  3. nadahomsi says:

    I think a number of cases have been reported in which individuals prone to use these drugs died due to their excess usage. The individuals that don’t die from it have permanent physical and mental damage. The best way for a drug user to stop there addiction is to submit themselves

  4. Rain says:

    I’ve never done drugs before and after reading this post, I never will. I refuse to endanger my life for a “high”. Good post.

  5. Richard Hebenstreit says:

    What i find interesting is that the TOP 3 are controlled over the counter drugs, when there is such a HUGE war on drugs and you have the TOP 3 that everyone has access too. Its sad that is it is like that but that is what happens when you have big corporations in charge.

  6. Zsofia H says:

    Do those people know – who`s using any of these things – about the damage what drugs, cigarette and alcohol cause to their body and their brain?! If you know anybody around you who`s using any of these terrible thing don`t wait help him or her make him/her understand that what him/her is doing is dangerous and help him or her immediately in an inpatient rehabilitation facility before it`s too late.

  7. steven says:

    I had no idea nicotine is one of the deadliest drugs, mostly because i dont really see it as one but when you think about it all the side affects it has and how its addictive it starts to sound just like a drug. Great article tho very informative

  8. Grace Lefever says:

    Wow I never stopped to think about all the way you can be harmed besides just an overdose or general body shutdown. Scary 🙁

  9. Smutty says:

    Wow. Very informative article, a definite eye opener. All the people who are using these and think they are ok need to read this article.

  10. Justin Tolar says:

    It amazes me that these drugs are the most deadliest and yet people don’t seem to care to stop using them. I’ve watched loved one smoke and carry around an oxygen tank because they refuse to quit. My grandfather drank so much he had liver cancer, but he wouldn’t stop. I have seen friends ruin their lives with prescription drugs. They lost their job, almost lost their life but they didn’t care as long as they had the pills. People choose what they want to do no matter the consequences. I am just thankful I have never had the desire to do any of them.

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