How do I know if I am addicted?
If you can’t stop taking a drug even if you want to, or if the urge to use drugs is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm, you might be addicted. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you think about drugs a lot?
- Did you ever try to stop or cut down on your drug usage but couldn't?
- Have you ever thought you couldn't fit in or have a good time without the use of drugs?
- Do you ever use drugs because you are upset or angry at other people?
- Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
- Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another?
- Have you ever made mistakes at a job or at school because you were using drugs?
- Does the thought of running out of drugs really scare you?
- Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to pay for drugs?
- Have you ever been arrested or in the hospital because of your drug use?
- Have you ever overdosed on drugs?
- Has using drugs hurt your relationships with other people?
If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you might have an addiction. People from all backgrounds can get an addiction. Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young. See NIDA’s video, below:
Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs
Through scientific advances, we know more than ever about how drugs work in the brain. We also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives. If you think you might be addicted, seek the advice of your doctor or an addiction specialist.
Why can’t I stop using drugs on my own?
Repeated drug use changes the brain, including parts of the brain that enable you to exert self-control. These and other changes can be seen clearly in brain imaging studies of people with drug addictions. These brain changes explain why quitting is so difficult, even if you feel ready. NIDA has an excellent video below:
Why Are Drugs So Hard to Quit?