A new study that looks at the long-term costs of addiction finds heroin, oxycodone and cocaine rank as the top three most expensive substances. Each addiction costs more than a million dollars to support over a 50-year period, CNBC reports.

The average five-year cost for using heroin 10 times a day is $318,500. For oxycodone (80 milligrams once a day), the five-year cost is $132,405. For cocaine (1 gram once a day) the five-year cost is $112,840.

Heroin is a very addictive drug made from morphine, a psychoactive (mind-altering) substance taken from the resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin’s color and look depend on how it is made and what else it may be mixed with. It can be white or brown powder, or a black, sticky substance called “black tar heroin.”

Ecstasy is the street name for a version of MDMA, or 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is an illegal, synthetic drug classified as a stimulant with potentially hallucinogenic properties. Molly is another name for MDMA. Both ecstasy and molly are made from MDMA, but ecstasy is used to describe a designer version in pill or tablet form, while molly is used for the white powder or crystal-like substance.

Ecstasy was originally developed by Merck pharmaceutical company in 1912. In its original form, it was known as “MDMA.” It was used in 1953 by the US Army in psychological warfare tests, and then resurfaced in the 1960s as a psychotherapy medication to “lower inhibitions.”1 It wasn’t until the 1970s that MDMA started being used as a party drug.

“Speed” is a street name for various stimulant drugs that teens, young adults and others use to feel more alert and focused, and in some cases, to feel high. Some people also use various forms of speed to reduce their appetite. Types of speed include:

Many drugs can alter a person’s thinking and judgment, and can lead to health risks, including addiction, drugged driving, infectious disease, and adverse effects on pregnancy. 

One of the most devastating truths about drug abuse is that it doesn’t just affect the user; it also affects their friends and their families. Relationships strain and trust can break over the course of the substance abuse.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when recreational drug use triggers an outright addiction, but the physical and psychological risks of drug use are many. It’s important to understand the underlying causes addiction — from prescription drug abuse to an attempt to self-medicate mental illness.