No matter their age, race, background, or initial motivation for using drugs, people from all areas of life can have issues with their drug usage. Some individuals test the waters with recreational drugs out of curiosity, for fun, because their friends are taking it, or to alleviate stress, worry, or sadness.

However, misuse and addiction are not limited to illicit substances like cocaine or heroin. Similar issues might arise from prescription drugs such as tranquilizers, sleeping aids, and painkillers. In reality, prescription painkillers, along with marijuana, are the most overused substances in the United States, and more people overdose on powerful opioid pills every day than are killed by car accidents and gunfire combined.

when drug usage develops into addiction or abuse

Of course, using drugs—whether illegally or on a prescription—doesn’t inevitably result in abuse. While some individuals can use prescription or recreational substances without having any negative consequences, others discover that substance usage seriously compromises their health and well-being. In a similar vein, there is no clear boundary between casual and problematic drug use.

Drug misuse and addiction are more about the effects of your drug usage than it is about the substance you use, how much of it you use, or how often you use it. You probably have a drug misuse or addiction issue if your drug usage is producing issues in your life, whether at job, school, home, or in your relationships.

Drug use can lead to issues for everyone, but not everyone is susceptible to substance addiction. While your genes, mental health, family, and social environment all play a part, there are certain risk factors that make you more susceptible, such as:

Addiction in the family

experiences of abuse, neglect, or other terrible events

mental illnesses including anxiety and sadness

drug use when young

Smoking or injecting a substance may raise its potential for addiction.

The first, and most courageous and difficult, step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. It can be terrifying and stressful to face your problem head-on without downplaying it or finding excuses, but healing is possible. You can conquer your addiction and create a fulfilling, drug-free life for yourself if you’re willing to get assistance.

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