This is a difficult question to answer because it depends upon a lot of factors in both the drug and the person who uses it. In an attempt to define clearly what is meant by addiction, and which drugs are the most addictive, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco ranked six psychoactive substances on five criteria.
- Withdrawal — The severity of withdrawal symptoms produced by stopping the use of the drug.
- Reinforcement — The drug’s tendency to induce users to take it again and again.
- Tolerance — The user’s need to have ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.
- Dependence — The difficulty in quitting, or staying off the drug, the number of users who eventually become dependent
- Intoxication — The degree of intoxication produced by the drug in typical use.
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