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Misc The most damaging drugs over time

SnafuInTheVoid

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I was thinking about addiction over long periods of time and what the most damaging drugs were. Assuming someone used a single drug every single day in excess for 30 years - what do you think the most damaging drugs are?

Talking about overall damage after cumulative use over 30 years. Assume risk of instant fatal overdose is not part of this. This is specifically talking about how damaged your body is after 30 years of said drug. This is not about how addictive they are, just simply how bad they are for your body.

from 1-10, I would say:

cannabis - 0.5
Classic psychedelics - 1
Opiates/Opioids - 2
Dissos - 5
Benzos/gabaergics - 5
MDMA - 7
Nitrous - 7
Cannabinoids - 8
Amphetamines - 8
Alcohol - 9
Meth - 9.5
Cocaine - 10
Inhalants/glue/mis - 10

Ok I'm bending the concept a bit because nobody would use psychedelics or MDMA every day for 30 years, but I scored them anyways.
 
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cduggles

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Meth > alcohol (depends so much on amount) > cocaine
in my opinion.
The neurotoxicity of meth, shorter time frame for potential long-term (brain) damage, and the psychosis that can linger after repeated use make it the 10 in my book over alcohol and cocaine.

And what are 4 and 6, or is it not continuous? @SnafuInTheVoid
 

ageingpartyfiend

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Meth > alcohol (depends so much on amount) > cocaine
in my opinion.
The neurotoxicity of meth, shorter time frame for potential long-term (brain) damage, and the psychosis that can linger after repeated use make it the 10 in my book over alcohol and cocaine.
was about to post almost exact same
meth 10, alcohol 9, coke 8.5, rest same as snafu
 

Atelier3

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I tend to worry more about my mind (cognitive functioning) being damaged than I do my body. Although the older I get the more concerned I get about my body.

In terms of damage done to my body (which overall is remarkably little all things considered) I put IV stimulants #1 and IV cocaine as top of that list. The next most damaging drug has been alcohol which I happily now find very easy to avoid as I do shooting up.

In terms of damage to my mind (which in contrast to my body is not insignificant), I put MDMA as #1 followed some distance behind by meth. Sadly, I expect I will continue to play with both of thee drugs in the future.

Of course all is dose dependent but when I take drugs it is ALWAYS at the redline and for the maximum number of days in a row possible.
 

cduggles

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Just a really simple comparison by me, I could probably fill it in with 2 more categories

This question is way to generalized anyways
Just checking. 🙂
It’s an interesting question.
For cardiovascular damage, meth and coke are definitely high scorers, but I’d still put alcohol second because of the liver damage.
 

SnafuInTheVoid

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Just checking. 🙂
It’s an interesting question.
For cardiovascular damage, meth and coke are definitely high scorers, but I’d still put alcohol second because of the liver damage.

In my mind I was imagining how these people would appear in interviews after all their drugs. Most of the rockstars who are known for meth/coke/alcohol are always virtually braindead after 30 years (ozzy, Hunter Thompson, rick james, etc..)
 

Frazzled1990

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Fentanyl
Crystal Meth
Spice
Heroin
MDMA
Oxycodone
LSD
Flunitrazepam
Amphetamine
Alcohol
Tobacco
Cannabis

To be honest, you can't really do a comprehensive list. As different people will respond differently to different substances and the degree of their potency.
Trying to put together a class of drugs in order of how damaging they are is pointless, because each class of drug has a wide range of potency and effects that differ from person to person. Like putting "Stimulants" first would be pointless, as clearly Caffeine isn't anywhere near as damaging as LSD for example. But Crystal Meth is considerably more damaging. So you can't really order them in that way.
 

Xorkoth

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Chronic alcohol abuse takes the cake, other than inhalants. If you drink heavily even periodically, alcohol does so much damage. It will destroy your body and mind over time unlike almost any other drug. Meth rates very highly, too, but if one exercises extreme discipline and gets sleep and proper nutrition and maintains personal hygeine, the damage potential is still less than alcohol, though it's going to cause a lot of damage over time. Cocaine also causes a lot of damage, especially to the heart, with chronic usage over time.

The rest of them are all much less, but to varying degrees. The only drugs I can say can actually be pretty harmless and even a net positive over time are psychedelics, assuming you don't slam yourself too hard with them. Occasional psychedelic use over time can actually help keep brain plasticity stronger, and can regrow neurons. Of course some people develop mental problems, but those are usually because of underlying issues that get triggered, such as people who are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia. But for those who are not predisposed to these issues, psychedelics are probably the least harmful drugs, when used responsibly.
 

OpiateKiller

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Worst drug damage:

1. meth / MDMA - I put these first because no comedown has ever left me so distraught and suicidal as these two have. I can feel the damage done after I go on a meth bender of even 4 days.

2. Psychedelics - a lot of people argue psychedelics are harmless, but I strongly disagree. Yes, some people can trip acid for life and not really have lasting or noticeable sides. But what about those that don’t, that a bad trip send them into permanent psychosis, they can’t vouch for acid because they’re likely institutionalized. My friend is permanently in another reality from too much acid and I watched it happen.

3. Spice / K2 - that fake weed shit gave me some serious lasting anxiety I believe.

4. Cocaine specifically crack. Crack will cause serious physical body damages.

And after that I mean it’s all similar. I disagree alcohol is that bad because I know and grew up around pretty serious alcoholics (12+ Drinks daily for 30 years) and they still function and have minimal health issues. Now drinking around the clock (24 hours a day) is when I can somewhat agree alcohol is destructive.
 

burn out

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Chronic alcohol abuse takes the cake, other than inhalants. If you drink heavily even periodically, alcohol does so much damage. It will destroy your body and mind over time unlike almost any other drug. Meth rates very highly, too, but if one exercises extreme discipline and gets sleep and proper nutrition and maintains personal hygeine, the damage potential is still less than alcohol, though it's going to cause a lot of damage over time. Cocaine also causes a lot of damage, especially to the heart, with chronic usage over time.

First of all, the initial post didn't say anything about dosage (which is just one of the reasons why this is so meaningless) so it's a rather pointless discussion but what exactly are you basing this on? This British woman: https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/a-piece-of-history-gift-wrapped-britains-oldest-person-who-claimed-whiskey-was-her-secret-to-longevity-dies-aged-112-38219210.html#:~:text=Menu Sections-,'A piece of history gift-wrapped' - Britain's oldest,to longevity dies aged 112&text=Britain's oldest person, 112-year,home in Worcestershire on Friday. drank whiskey every day and was so healthy she lived to be 112.

No, sure there are certain doses of alcohol where it becomes really harmful but that's true for meth also. You would probably be surprised at how many people abuse alcohol for decades and have little to no health problems. I knew a guy in his 50s who had been an alcoholic since age 14 and was in good health. If you "exercise extreme discipline" and get "proper sleep and nutrition" you can drink alcohol for a long time to. You've said nothing to back up your claim the damage potential is greater for alcohol than meth.

The rest of them are all much less, but to varying degrees. The only drugs I can say can actually be pretty harmless and even a net positive over time are psychedelics, assuming you don't slam yourself too hard with them. Occasional psychedelic use over time can actually help keep brain plasticity stronger, and can regrow neurons. Of course some people develop mental problems, but those are usually because of underlying issues that get triggered, such as people who are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia. But for those who are not predisposed to these issues, psychedelics are probably the least harmful drugs, when used responsibly.

By your same logic I could say that people who develop cirrhosis of the liver were simply people who were "predisposed". It is estimated that only 10-20% of alcoholics develop cirrhosis of the liver: https://www.verywellhealth.com/cirrhosis-of-the-liver-p2-63372

I would be willing to wager that if you administered high doses of psychedelics to otherwise healthy 20 year olds every week for 5 years, a very large percent of them would suffer mental health problems.
 
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Xorkoth

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Perhaps. But alcohol is well-known to be very toxic and bad for you when drinking heavily. As far as drugs of abuse go, when abused, it really does a number of you. There are countless studies to support this, and clearly many people in this thread agree.

I'm not saying psychedelics are harmless, but in my experience, the toll they take on you is less than the toll most other drugs take on you.

But yeah someone drinking 1-2 drinks daily is not a big deal, and some studies even suggest it has health benefits (especially red wine). As you say, it's a matter of dosage. Same with meth, dosing the amounts that get prescribed as Desoxyn, for ADD/etc, is actually neuroprotective. But when dosing high, and especially when compounded by lack of sleep and lack of self-care, it becomes very damaging over time.
 

burn out

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Yes I am not denying how bad alcohol can be for you but I am saying you have to be very careful when speaking in generalities because with alcohol especially it's all a matter of dosage and how each individual reacts. For example, there are plenty of people who can come home from work and drink a six pack of beer every night and not only they do not suffer major health problems, they don't even consider themselves alcoholics. If you test their liver function, it comes back perfectly normal. Then there are other people where six beers every night could cause cirrhosis.

With alcohol, the harm grows exponentially with the dosage. This isn't the case for all drugs. For example, with opioids the difference between being dependent on 20 mgs of hydrocodone per day vs 40 mg per day would be relatively minor health wise. The 40 mg a day habit would be somewhat harder to withdraw from, though not even 2x as hard. Same thing for benzos. With benzos, long term use can really screw up your brain and it doesn't matter a whole lot whether you were taking 2 mg of xanax a day or 5 mg.

I believe you can rank drugs roughly in terms of how much harm and disruption they cause to society, but when it comes to individual health there are too many variables for the ranking to really mean anything. It's much better to simply explain the risks of each individual drug. It would be stupid for anyone to look at a ranking system and say well, alcohol is ranked 9 and meth is only ranked 7 so instead of drinking a beer tonight I'm gonna smoke some meth.
 

AutoTripper

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I was thinking about addiction over long periods of time and what the most damaging drugs were. Assuming someone used a single drug every single day in excess for 30 years - what do you think the most damaging drugs are?

Talking about overall damage after cumulative use over 30 years. Assume risk of instant fatal overdose is not part of this. This is specifically talking about how damaged your body is after 30 years of said drug. This is not about how addictive they are, just simply how bad they are for your body.

from 1-10, I would say:

Opiates/Opioids - 2
Cocaine - 9
Meth - 8
Dissos - 5
Classic psychedelics - 1
MDMA & various - 7
Benzos/gabaergics - 3
Alcohol - 10

Ok I'm bending the concept a bit because nobody would use psychedelics or MDMA every day for 30 years, but I scored them anyways.
Interesting paradigm on the MDMA vs classic psychedelics.

After my recent heavy divulging into LSD use, I see my past MDMA abuse, as extreme as you would hear of, as child’s play vs keeping my full witts and focus about me currently from the LSD.

So I’m suggesting, of course it’s dosage related and individual, but people may be able to abuse MDMA for years, as I did, sail through it without feeling like a victim or even any regret.

But heavily abusing LSD for a long time, like just a few years even, can really unhinge somebody more drastically and irretraceably too.

That’s the scary part, losing that trace.

In the long run too, when I write my life’s drug taking autobiography lol, I expect to say definitely that my current benzo addiction at this stage of my life, will be a harder challenge and take a bigger toll than the MDMA abuse scars I took like little bruises.
 
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