What Increases the Risk of Having a Drug Problem? (Part 2)

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
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For Part 1 of this series, please visit this page.

Last time, we described some things that can increase your risk for developing a problem with substance use. Others are:

  • Trouble in school, trouble at work, trouble with making friends. Failures at school or work, or trouble getting along with people, can make life hard. A person might be tempted to use drugs to get their mind off these stresses.
  • Mental health problems. People with problems like depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges are more likely to become addicted. They might use drugs to try to feel better.
  • Your biology. Each person’s body reacts to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more; others hate how it feels and never try it again. Some people are more likely to get addicted, but there's no way to test for that.

If you have some of these risk factors, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll develop a drug problem someday. However, even if you have none of the risk factors, that doesn’t make it safe to use drugs. Think carefully about what you put in your body. 

If you think you or someone close to you may have a drug or alcohol problem, you can find suggestions here for what to do next. Resources for support and treatment are listed here. And here’s a video that explains why anyone can get addicted: 

Did you know that addiction is a disease? Learn more here.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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