Types of Drug Abuse in Seattle, WA

Any type of drug that changes your physiology and emotional state, either on a short-term or long-term basis, can be abused. This includes prescription and illicit drugs. Knowing the types of drug abuse that can occur helps you know when it is time to seek treatment. Island Assessment and Counseling offers addiction resources, including information about the types of drug abuse, for the residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah and the surrounding areas in Washington State so that they may better understand alcohol abuse and treatment.

What are the Types of Drug Abuse?

Any drug that affects you emotionally or physically can be abused including illegal drugs and prescription medications. As you continue to use the drug, your body builds a tolerance. You need more of the drug in order to achieve the same physiological response. The most common types of drugs that are abused include narcotics, stimulants, and sedatives.

What Drugs are Most Often Abused?

Drug abuse stems from not only the drug of choice but also the individual. A person develops a taste for a drug because it alleviates some emotional or physical discomfort.


Heroin is highly addictive, so there is little to line between use and abuse. The drug changes the receptors in the brain almost immediately. The person develops a quick tolerance to the drug, which is why there are so many heroin overdoses. The physical consequences of heroin use are bloodborne diseases, hallucinations, seizures, psychosis and even death.


Known as the “poor man’s cocaine,” crack is amongst the strongest types of cocaine available. When a person smokes crack, he experiences an immediate and short feeling of euphoria. This “positive” experience is so strong that he wants to use more crack to feel better. The downside is that the high is short-lived and followed by a low that may be worse than before the person used crack. This is compounded by the fact that crack cocaine is highly addictive. Long-term users suffer from strokes, heart attacks, lung problems, kidney damage and liver damage. Withdrawing from crack cocaine use without medical supervisor can be fatal.


When a person uses even a small amount of cocaine, the drug increases blood pressure and heart rate. A person feels a sense of euphoria and heightened energy. When the body is pushed to this level, the result may be a stroke or heart attack.


LSD (“acid”) and PCP (“angel dust”) are the most common types of hallucinogens. This category of drug heightens the senses. Colors, sounds, and tastes are more intense. A person may also see, hear and feel things that are not real. People who use hallucinogens describe the experience as “being out of the body.” Long-term use of these types of drugs can lead to permanent neurological damage.


Marijuana is often considered the “safest” and least addictive drug, but it all depends on the individual. Some people are able to use the drug for strictly recreational purposes without any problems while others develop a dependence on the drug. Like other drugs, marijuana changes the way the body and brain function. People who use marijuana long-term may lose some degree of memory, coordination and mental function. Smoking marijuana can cause lung damage. People may lose interest in their work performance, relationships, and important activities.


Amphetamines increase specific functions in the brain and body to give a person a “high,” but these effects can have detrimental outcomes. A persona may suffer brain damage, paranoia, psychosis and nerve damage. Mood changes may also occur and be violent in nature.


The challenge with alcohol is that it is legal for adults, so identifying when a person is abusing alcohol can be difficult. A person abuses alcohol when use interferes with other priorities. The person may also have legal and financial problems related to alcohol use. Someone who binge drinks is abusing alcohol.

Prescription Drugs

When a person uses a prescription medication outside of what is determined by a physician, this is prescription drug abuse. This may mean that a person takes more pills than prescribed, takes the drug more frequently, takes another person’s prescribed drug or ingests the drug in a different manner (crushing pills and injecting). Prescription drugs that are most often abused are painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and anti-seizure medications.


Inhalants are on the rise because the products used for this type of drug abuse are easily available. Spray paint and canned air for cleaning computers are common inhalants. The person experiences a euphoria and numb feeling for a very short period of time. Inhalant use leads to brain and lung damage as well as death.

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost in Seattle?

If you know someone who is experiencing a type of drug abuse, we are here to help. Our program is designed to be affordable to anyone who wants treatment. Island Assessment and Counseling accepts most insurance plans. You can pay for your portion of the cost with cash or credit cards. If you are uninsured or need help with your out-of-pocket expenses, we offer in-house payment plans.

Why Choose Island Assessment and Counseling

Island Assessment and Counseling offers addicts:

  • More than 22 years’ experience
  • State-approved facility for holistically-based programs
  • Staff includes Certified Counselors, Licensed Counselors, and Chemical Dependency Counselors
  • Evidence-based practices, such as 12-step, motivational and cognitive behavioral therapy

Knowing the types of drug abuse helps you understand when it is time to seek help. Island Assessment and Counseling, conveniently located in Seattle and Oak Harbor, is a highly-rated counseling center serving the residents of Washington State. Our evidence-based programs help those who need rehab, dual diagnosis treatment and abuse treatment programs. We also offer addiction resources about the types of drug abuse for families and individuals who want to better understand drug and alcohol abuse. Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.

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