Chat Day Live Question on Consequences

Video Length: 2:31

Dr. Jack Stein speaking: So, we’ve got a really cool question that was put to us by Rodolfo and Esteban from Mexico City.

Let’s hear their question, and then we’re going to answer it.

Rodolfo and Esteban speaking: What is the difference of the consequences between consuming a drug to have fun from time to time, to consume it once a week?

Dr. Jack Stein speaking: Great question Rodolfo and Esteban, thanks for asking it.

To answer it we have Dr. Ruben, who is with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well. Dr. Ruben, thanks for being here.

Dr. Ruben Baler speaking: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Hola México!

Dr. Jack Stein speaking: The question that was asked, has to do with using drugs a few times versus, more--using them on a regular basis.

And what’s the difference, and what kind of different consequences might occur? Can you help us with that?

Dr. Ruben Baler speaking: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you have to think that this is just one of the factors that goes into the equation of how risky it is to use a drug of abuse in terms of addiction.

Indeed, if everything else being equal, using sporadically or once in a while, versus using all the time, it’s less dangerous.

But the important thing is that, to consider that it’s just one of the many, many risk factors that go into this equation.

Another risk factor is your age, the type of drug that you are using, and the individual differences.

These individual differences can make that one person, perhaps using just once, once in a while, once in a weekend, it may start the vicious cycle of using over and over again.

Whereas another person who uses more frequently, will not go into that vicious cycle of addiction.

Dr. Jack Stein speaking:  So, the differential differences are critically important in determining the risk factors.

So that’s why we say at NIDA that using drugs and deciding whether or not to use a drug, particularly when you are young, is like a Russian roulette.

You cannot predict after use, either sporadic or frequent, who will become eventually addicted.

This is why it’s much smarter to stay away from drugs, sporadic or frequent, it doesn’t matter.

Stay away altogether, particularly until you reach the age of 22, 23, 25, the later the better. Stay away of drugs while you’re young.