What to Do If You Have a Problem with Drugs: For Teens and Young Adults

How Do I know If I Have An Addiction Problem

Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young. If you continue to use drugs despite harmful consequences, you could be addicted. It is important to talk to a medical professional about it—your health and future could be at stake.

Have friends or family told you that you are behaving differently for no apparent reason—such as acting withdrawn, frequently tired or depressed, or hostile? You should listen and ask yourself if they are right—and be honest with yourself. These changes could be a sign you are developing a drug-related problem. Parents sometimes overlook such signs, believing them to be a normal part of the teen years. Only you know for sure if you are developing a problem because of your drug use. Here are some other signs:

hanging out with different friends
not caring about your appearance
getting worse grades in school
missing classes or skipping school
losing interest in your favorite activities
getting in trouble in school or with the law
having different eating or sleeping habits
having more problems with family members and friends

There is no special type of person who becomes addicted. It can happen to anyone. (See NIDA’s video, "Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs.")

Thanks to science, we know more than ever before about how drugs work in the brain, and we also know that addiction can be successfully treated to help young people stop using drugs and lead productive lives. Asking for help early, when you first suspect you have a problem, is important; don’t wait to become addicted before you seek help. If you think you are addicted, there is treatment that can work. Don’t wait another minute to ask for help.

Anyone Can Become Addicted to Drugs