Drug misuse means using drugs in a way that harms you or causes you to harm others. You can misuse illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter drugs.
Most of the time, a drug problem starts with casual use. You may not think there will be a problem if you use a drug once or twice. But drug use can become a drug problem and drug dependency, and it sometimes happens quickly.
Drugs change your brain's structure and how it works. Teens who continue to use drugs may develop a strong need, or craving, for the drug, and it may get harder to say "no" to drug use. You may start to find drugs more fun than anything else. Or you may want to stop using drugs but can't. You may become dependent on a drug.
If you become dependent, the drug controls your life. You may continue to use the drug even though it can harm your relationships, lead to trouble with the law, and/or cause physical problems.
Teens may use drugs for many reasons. They may want to:
Drugs can change how well you make decisions, how well you think, and how quickly you can react. They can make it hard for you to control your actions. Drug use can:
Drugs also can change how you feel about your life. Drug use can lead to depression and suicide.
If someone offers you drugs, here are some ways to say "no."
Treatment for a drug problem or dependency usually includes group therapy, one or more types of counselling, and drug education. Sometimes medicines are used to help you quit. Teens who are dependent on drugs may need medical treatment and may need to stay in a hospital or treatment centre.
Treatment focuses on more than drugs. It also helps you cope with the anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment that often happen when a person tries to stop using drugs.
Treatment also looks at other parts of your life, like your relationships with friends and family, school and work, medical problems, and living situation. It helps you find and manage problems. Treatment helps you take control of your life so you don't have to depend on drugs.
A drug problem affects the whole family. Family counselling often is part of treatment.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter H286 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Drug Use Problems and Dependency in Teens".
Current as of: November 3, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.