Do drugs help you relax?
Depending on the drug, some people might say they feel pleasant or relaxed. However, in many cases, these feelings may be followed by even more powerful sensations, such as depression, anxiety, nausea, confusion, lack of control, paranoia, guilt, embarrassment, hangovers, loneliness, and cravings for more drugs.
Can you get addicted even though you only do it once in a while?
No one wakes up in the morning and says, ""I'm going to be an addict."" Addiction is a process - not an event. Most people who start using drugs do so with the intention of only using once or occasionally. However, drugs affect the brain; even with only occasional use, changes are happening and you could get addicted. The ""occasional"" use of drugs can quickly change to frequent use and then to constant use.
How many times does someone have to take a drug to become an addict?
Each person is different, so it's a little like playing a game of chance if you choose to use drugs.
What is the science behind addiction?
With repeated drug use, dopamine function in a drug abuser's brain becomes abnormal. Because dopamine is involved in feelings of pleasure and motivation, the person feels flat, lifeless, and depressed when they are not taking the drug. Without drugs, an abuser's life seems joyless. Now the abuser needs drugs just to bring dopamine levels up to normal levels. They need it just to get them close to where they were before they even tried drugs in the first place. Larger amounts of the drug are needed to create a dopamine flood or high, an effect known as tolerance. By abusing drugs, the addicted person has changed the way his or her brain works. Drug abuse and addiction lead to long-term changes in the brain. These changes cause addicted drug users to lose the ability to control their drug use. Drug addiction is a disease.
If drug addiction is a disease, is there a cure?
There is no cure for drug addiction, but it is a treatable disease. Drug addicts can and do recover, but they must always be aware of their addiction and work to never fall into addiction again, which is a lifelong process. Drug addiction therapy uses behavior change or modification and sometimes includes medications that assist the user in refraining from drugs or alcohol.
Marijuana is just a plant... is it really that dangerous?
Yes, marijuana is a plant but it has real health consequences, including addiction. While some people or Web sites may try to convince you that ""it's no big deal,"" the real science shows a different picture. More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined. Young people who use marijuana weekly have a greater risk of depression later in life. This risk is even higher for girls. The odds that a female who uses marijuana daily will be depressed at age 21 are higher than the odds of non-users. "Drugs_QA7.q" = "I know a ""straight A"" student and some professional athletes who use marijuana and they seem to do OK. What's that about?