Background information on drug abuse

Some other teenagers with no family history of abuse who experiment may also progress to abuse or dependency. Therefore, there is a good chance that "one" will hurt you.

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Teenagers with a family history of alcohol or drug abuse are particularly advised to abstain and not experiment. No one can predict for sure who will abuse or become dependent on drugs except to say the non-user never will. There may also be physical signs such as red eyes, a persistent cough, and change in eating and sleeping habits.

Alcohol or drug dependency may include blackouts, withdrawal symptoms, and further problems in functioning at home, school, or work. Quick Links. People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer, or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own. As they sober up and their thinking clears, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change.

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Fact: Recovery from drug addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks. While frequency or the amount of drugs consumed do not necessarily constitute drug abuse or addiction, they can often be indicators of drug-related problems. If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it.

You may take illegal drugs to calm or energize yourself or make you more confident. You may start abusing prescription drugs to relieve pain, cope with panic attacks, or improve concentration at school or work. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use.


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Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. People often try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group can make it feel like doing the drugs with them is the only option. Problems can sometimes sneak up on you, as your drug use gradually increases over time. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a rave, or painkillers when your back aches, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day.

Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you. As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need.

Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces feelings of isolation.


  • Drug addiction can be treated.!
  • Background | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
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While each drug produces different physical effects, all abused substances share one thing in common: repeated use can alter the way the brain functions. This includes commonly abused prescription medications as well as recreational drugs. With the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life.

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. If you recognize yourself in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, talk to someone about your drug use. Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home e.

Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high , such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex. Experiencing legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.

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Substance abuse

Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts. You use to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.

Loss of control over your drug use. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless. Your life revolves around drug use. Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss. Stimulants including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth : Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.

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Hallucinogens LSD, PCP : Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion. Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite. About Us. Skip to main content. Health topics Substance abuse. Highlight The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use.