No one is exempt from falling prey to drug addiction. Substance abuse can occur regardless of gender, race, class, or creed, and there’s certain drugs that tend to be favored. Check out the most commonly used drugs to help protect those you love.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cannabis, or marijuana, is the most popular illegal drug in the United States. Many of the drug’s main abusers are youth under the age of 18 as a form of experimentation. While many individuals dismiss this substance as being harmless, many people who use it regularly suffer from lack of motor skills and memory loss.

Alcohol is also the drug of choice among many addicts. Characterized as a depressant, it’s known for relaxing muscles and slowing down breathing, but the long-term effects are liver damage and heart disease. While it’s not illegal for those over 21 to indulge, a number of people who consume alcoholic beverages are minors.

Another main offender is cocaine. This stimulant is often snorted, smoked, or injected. It grossly affects the nervous system and causes respiratory failure, as well as an abnormal heart rate.

Heroin, an opiate heightened by morphine, is regularly used by addicts as well. It affects the blood pressure, kidneys, and respiration among other critical areas in the body. Overdoses are common, and users often put themselves at risk for infectious diseases since it’s commonly injected with a needle. The US Drug Enforcement Administration reported that this drug was among the few that caused the highest number of seizures in 2009.

Although it’s a newer drug on street, methamphetamine, or crystal meth, has become a favorable choice for among substance abusers. The stimulant initially provides ample energy, enabling some people to stay awake for days at time. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous habits, as it causes highly severe health problems.

Understanding which drugs are more likely to be obtained is a critical step in dependence intervention. The more information you know about those that are most frequented by substance abusers, the more you can recognize the signs of addiction and help fight against it.