Substance use can be fine for some people but for others it can cause problems at work, within relationships, at home or at schools. It leaves the person feeling isolated, helpless or humiliated. Learning about the nature of drug abuse and addiction such as how it develops, what it looks like, and why it can have such a powerful hold on some people will give you a better understanding of the problem and how to best deal with it.

First thing, use does not always lead to abuse. It depends on the individual and the level of use and how it is being used for that person. Use of drugs and alcohol is not about the amount of substance that is consumed but more about the consequences of the use. As any other mental illness vulnerability to addiction differs from person to person. Genes, mental health, family and social environment all play a role in addiction.

However, some risk factors include:

    • Family history of addiction
    • Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood
    • Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
    • Early use of drugs
    • Method of administration—smoking or injecting a drug may increase its addictive potential

Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse:

    • Neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home
    • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
    • Your drug use is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
    • Your drug use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends. For more information visit:
        If your loved one has an addiction it is important for them to know how you feel about. Speak up and talk about your concerns for them. Show them you are there to support them but also take care of yourself and make sure you have someone to talk too. Lastly, don’t blame yourself. As mentioned before substance abuse can be caused by varies of reasons.