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Top 10 Recreational Drugs by Usage


While it is true that recreational drug use varies a bit by region, looking at the overall statistics in the United States can be telling. They illustrate what drugs people turn to most often, showing modern trends and helping to shed light on arrest statistics.

Perhaps you have been wondering about drug usage as you plan a trip to Las Vegas. Maybe you know this is a city full of tourists and built around nightlife, and you know that means drug use happens every day. You feel curious about what drugs people choose and what to expect. To help, the following are the top 10 most-used drugs — both legal and illegal — in the United States.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, and use is incredibly common, clocking in at 61.42 percent. Of course, much alcohol use is legal, but it does lead to criminal activities, such as drinking and driving or underage drinking.

2. Tobacco

Tobacco, a stimulant, is also incredibly common, coming in at 31.1 percent. Again, legal use is very common, though underage smoking is an issue.

3. Marijuana

Marijuana has been legalized to some degree in many states. Some allow recreational use, while others allow medical use. It’s not as readily available as alcohol or cigarettes, but it still accounts for 17.68 percent. It is a depressant.

4. Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone, which is commonly known as Vicodin, is a prescription painkiller. It clocks in at 3.17 percent. It is an opioid. Many people struggle with addiction after using painkillers legally.

5. Amphetamine

Amphetamine, often in the form of Adderall, sees widespread use. Like painkillers, people can use it legally, but many also use the stimulant illegally. It comes in at 2.8 percent.

6. Cocaine

Cocaine is often one of the first things people think of when considering “hard” drugs, and it clocks in at 2.19 percent. It is a stimulant and it is illegal.

7. Oxycodone

Oxycodone, often marketed as OxyContin, is an opioid, just like Hydrocodone. Addiction is a significant issue. Usage comes in at 2.05 percent.

8. Alprazolam

You may have heard of Alprazolam under the branded name Xanax. It gets used just as often as OxyContin, at 2.05 percent. It is a Schedule IV tranquilizer.


The common name for MDMA is Molly or Ecstasy. It is a Schedule I hallucinogen. Reports put the usage rates at 1.5 percent.

10. LSD

Like Ecstasy, LSD is a Schedule I hallucinogen. Usage is slightly less common, at 1.07 percent. Nicknames for LSD include Acid and Lucy.

Your rights

If you get arrested on drug charges in Las Vegas, make sure you know all of the legal rights you have. Everyone deserves a fair trial.