While Australia has some of the most stringent enforced borders in the world, there is still no shortage of drugs within the country. And while all these drugs can be addictive, some are more addictive than others.

In this blog, we take a look at exactly what is the most addictive drug in Australia and also examine how addictive drugs are damaging our society. If you have become dependent on drugs and are looking for a way out, contact The Cabin today on 1 800 251 994.

Most Addictive Drug in Australia

What are the Most Addictive Drugs in Australia?

These drugs are those known to cause dependency fastest in the people who take them. Note that all drugs can be addictive to those prone to addiction.

Crystal Methamphetamine

Crystal meth is one of the more popular drugs within Australia, and it is also one of the most addictive drugs. Users either snort, inject or smoke meth, resulting in potent stimulant effects that last for many hours. It is common for people who use this drug to stay awake for days, repeatedly redosing before inevitably crashing.

Ceasing use of this drug can be particularly challenging due to changes in the brain that cause problems with impulse control, making avoiding relapse difficult for long-term users.


Heroin first became popular in Australia in the 1960s due to American troops using the drug in cities such as Melbourne and Sydney during the Vietnam War. Usage peaked during the 1980s, before declining in the early 2000s.

1.2% of Australians aged 14 or over have used this drug at least once during their lives, with rates of addiction much lower than this.

While rates of heroin addiction are currently much lower than they were, heroin abuse is still a concern in Australia as it is very common for users to inject this drug, making it far more addictive and dangerous than when it is administered in other ways.

This drug is still dangerous when it is snorted or injected due to the potent euphoric effects and withdrawal when usage is ceased.


This drug is one of the most addictive drugs on the planet due to its powerful sedative effects and short duration of use. While the effects from heroin last from between a couple of hours and several hours depending on the tolerance of the users, the effects of fentanyl can be as short as a single hour. This need for repeated administration contributes to fentanyl being considered the most addictive drug in Australia.

Fentanyl abuse has been wreaking havoc across the United States for the past 20 years, and rates of overdose continue to rise at alarming rates. In 2022, 73,654 people died from a fentanyl overdose in the US, which is double the number from only 3 years before.

Fentanyl is not just found in the United States. The drug has also ravaged Canada and is now being sold more frequently in countries in Europe. 

Most fentanyl found in Australia is diverted from medical sources. Australians with prescriptions to this drug sometimes sell fentanyl patches and lollipops to drug users. It is estimated that less than 200 people per year die from fentanyl overdoses.

But while rates of fentanyl abuse are still fairly low within the country it is possible that we will soon see an increase in the availability of this dangerous drug. In 2022, 11kg of fentanyl was intercepted in Melbourne, which due to fentanyl’s potency is enough for 5 million doses.

If Australian criminals become able to consistently smuggle large amounts of fentanyl into Australia it is likely they will begin cutting heroin with this drug, which will inevitably lead to catastrophic overdose rates across the country. It only takes 2 mg of fentanyl to cause a lethal overdose and this quantity is half the mass of a single grain of sand.  This makes fentanyl especially dangerous.

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Cocaine is another of the most addictive drugs in the country. This drug gives users brief feelings of alertness and sometimes euphoria, before causing a crash. It is common for cocaine users to take this drug every hour to prevent themselves from coming down.

Cocaine costs between A$250 and A$400, making it one of the most expensive drugs within the country. This high cost does not stop Australians from using the drug, with 4.2% of the total inhabitants of Australia reporting using cocaine within 2023.

Cocaine users often find that their usage escalates from once a month, to once a week, to fully blown addiction. Once someone is hooked on this drug, it is often a challenging process to get clean.

People addicted to cocaine must look at the reasons why they began using cocaine in the first place, and why they continue to use it. At The Cabin outpatient addiction treatment centre in Sydney, we help those addicted to cocaine do just this.
The Cabin Chiang Mai

We also offer inpatient treatment at our sister centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where people who are addicted to substances can go to get away from their triggers and spend a period devoted to focusing on their addiction.

The Impact of The Most Addictive Drugs on Australian Society

It is estimated that substance addictions cost Australia over $70 billion dollars per year. Addiction-related costs occur through the healthcare system and justice systems, as well as by reduced productivity in the workplace. 

And while this is a startling figure, this is not the only damage caused by addiction in Australia. The social harms caused by the most addictive drugs in Australia are immeasurable. Entire communities have been devastated by these drugs.

The dysfunction caused by drug addiction means that those affected often remain jobless throughout their lives and must resort to crime in order to fund their addiction.

People who are addicted to drugs also frequently face mental health problems, often causing a life of suffering for the person who is affected and those around them.

Drug Addiction Treatment at The Cabin

The Cabin Chiang Mai At The Cabin we understand that all drugs can be incredibly addictive when someone has a propensity towards addiction. We help people with addictions to all substances free themselves and go on to live satisfying and rewarding lives. We have successfully treated thousands of Australians at our inpatient centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

For more information on how we can help you recover from drug addiction, contact us on 1 800 251 994.

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