Drugs are chemical substances that can change how your body and mind work. They include prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.What is drug use?
Drug use, or misuse, includes
Drug use is dangerous. It can harm your brain and body, sometimes permanently. It can hurt the people around you, including friends, families, kids, and unborn babies. Drug use can also lead to addiction.What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease. It causes a person to take drugs repeatedly, despite the harm they cause. Repeated drug use can change the brain and lead to addiction.
The brain changes from addiction can be lasting, so drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease. This means that people in recovery are at risk for taking drugs again, even after years of not taking them.Does everyone who takes drugs become addicted?
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone's bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.Who is at risk for drug addiction?
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including
Signs that someone has a drug problem include
Treatments for drug addiction include counseling, medicines, or both. Research shows that combining medicines with counseling gives most people the best chance of success.
The counseling may be individual, family, and/or group therapy. It can help you
Medicines can help with the symptoms of withdrawal. For addiction to certain drugs, there are also medicines that can help you re-establish normal brain function and decrease your cravings.
If you have a mental disorder along with an addiction, it is known as a dual diagnosis. It is important to treat both problems. This will increase your chance of success.
If you have a severe addiction, you may need hospital-based or residential treatment. Residential treatment programs combine housing and treatment services.Can drug use and addiction be prevented?
Drug use and addiction are preventable. Prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media may prevent or reduce drug use and addiction. These programs include education and outreach to help people understand the risks of drug use.
NIH: National Institute on Drug use disorder
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