Beth Burgess

SFYB Staff Writer

Crack, Smack, and Crystal: The Deadliest Drugs?

By: Beth Burgess

Crack cocaine, heroin (or smack, to go by one of its many street names), and methamphetamine (crystal meth) are the drugs that we are most often warned to stay away from. But does that make them the deadliest drugs? Well their’s more to the story.


Actually the reason why police, politicians, and educators make a big fuss about these three drugs is not because they cause the most deaths. You might be surprised to learn that alcohol is responsible for many more fatalities than any of this trio of chemicals.

The reason crack, smack, and crystal are so reviled is that they are considered to have extremely high addiction potential and can cause irreparable damage to users’ lives and minds.

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Crack, Smack, and Crystal: The Deadliest Drugs?

It’s important to point out that although these are considered very addictive drugs, anything can be addictive if you have a certain type of brain. Although fewer people get addicted to alcohol, compared to people who are able to drink normally, if you’re one of those people who is susceptible to alcoholism, booze can wreck your life just as much as illicit drugs.

In fact, alcohol withdrawal can kill someone who is alcohol-dependent, whereas quitting any of these three drugs may be excruciatingly unpleasant, but going cold turkey can’t kill you, even if you’re a serious addict.

But there is something very sad about people who are causalities of crack, heroin, or crystal meth. If you have become a user, and have been doing any of these drugs for a long time, they sort of kill your body and soul in a way that is very difficult to recover from. That’s because these sorts of drugs actually make certain parts of your brain and nervous system die.

Ex-heroin users often report feeling like ‘normal’ buzzes lose their thrill compared to smack, while crack users can have psychotic symptoms even after stopping use. Cleaned-up methamphetamine users have an inability to experience pleasure, which may actually be permanent in people who have used heavily.

Crystal is probably the worst of the lot, because of the deep and irreparable brain damage it can cause. Meth is often made with toxic ingredients like battery acid, paint thinner, drain cleaner – never good things to feed your body or your brain. Now you know why the anti-drug campaigns say “Not even once.”


But whatever illegal drugs we are talking about, in the end it’s infinitely better never to try any of them, and to watch yourself carefully if you’re going to drink or take prescription drugs. Many people’s lives are ruined by pills and potions you can buy legally – and you never know if you’re going to be one who gets addicted.

Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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Beth Burgess
Beth Burgess is a therapist and coach specializing in addiction, anxiety disorders, stress, and mental health. She is also the author of two recovery books, a speaker, trainer, and a freelance writer. Beth considers herself a walking miracle. She has recovered from alcoholism, social anxiety disorder, bulimia, self-harm, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She uses a unique mixture of psychotherapy, NLP, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and more to help clients find freedom from their problems.

Filed under: Drug AddictionOpiates