Can you get addicted the first time you try a drug? How long does it take to get addicted?

We know what happens to the brain when someone becomes addicted, but we can’t predict how many times a person must use a drug before that happens. The only way to be sure that a person will never become addicted is to not use drugs.  Some people encourage you to try drugs, saying “one time won’t hurt.” But research tells us that one time can lead to addiction, and can even kill.

Many things influence whether a person will become addicted, like if their friends or family use drugs. Positive influences, like sports or afterschool activities, help prevent addiction. We also know that the younger a person is when they start to use drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted. If you don’t use drugs before your brain is fully developed (in your early 20’s), your risk for addiction is MUCH lower!