Browse Drugs

Addiction as a Brain Disease

             Drug addiction does not result from ignorance or a lack of morals.  It’s essentially a brain disease, a chemical disorder that has multiple causes.  These causes vary from person to person, but most of them are psychosocial in nature.  This is just a fancy way of saying that drug addiction results from a combination of chemical and environmental  factors.

We begin to address these factors through education.  It is imperative that both the addict and their support system obtain the facts about addiction.  And although more than knowledge is required for healing, recovery must still have a factual basis.  The purpose of The National Addiction Centers Browse Drugs Page is to provide this basis.

The following sections are summaries of commonly abused families of drugs.  They also include links to more information about specific substances.


The Benzodiazepines

             The benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of drugs often prescribed for anxiety and panic disorder.  They are also popular for recreational use.  Intended for short term use, the benzos are highly addictive and dangerous, especially when mixed with painkillers or alcohol.

Here is a list of the most common examples:







Illegal Drugs

             Illegal drugs are often the most dangerous substances to abuse.  One reason is that their strength is so unpredictable.  Users of illegal drugs often resort to harmful or criminal means for temporary relief.  As a result, illegal drug users often end up involved in the penal system.


Here is an incomplete list of commonly abused illegal drugs:

-Marijuana and Synthetic Marijuana

-Cocaine and Crack








             Whether they’re obtained illegally or from a physician, painkillers often lead to addiction or lethal overdose.  Painkiller tolerance sometimes develops very quickly.  This often results in the user resorting to criminal means to obtain more of the drug.  The fact that many users have legitimate pain issues can make recovery more challenging.

Painkillers include the following:

-Vicodin and Lortab (hydrocodone)

-OxyContin and oxycodone










Sleeping Pills

 Sleeping pills are another type of commonly abused prescription drugs.  Used to treat insomnia and other disorders, sleeping pills are highly addictive and dangerous.  They can be lethal in high amounts, especially when mixed with alcohol.

Here are the most common varieties:






The Stimulants

 The stimulants are another class of addictive and dangerous prescription drugs.  They are used for conditions like ADD, hyperactivity, depression, and narcolepsy.  Stimulants also include most diet pills and steroids.

Here is a list of the most popular stimulants:






-Diet Pills


Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list.  People can become addicted to many substances not included here, including over the counter drugs.  Please seek help if you or someone you loved has any type of substance disorder.