It's not hard to find drugs, and sometimes it may seem like everyone's doing them
— or wanting you to do them. But as with anything that seems too good to be
true, there are downsides (and dangers) to taking drugs.
How Drugs Work
Drugs are chemicals or substances that change the way our bodies work. Some are
medicines that help people when doctors prescribe
them. Many have no medical use or benefits.
When taken (usually by swallowing, inhaling, or injecting), abused drugs find their
way into the bloodstream. From there, they move to the brain and other parts of the
body. In the brain, drugs may intensify or dull the senses, change how alert or sleepy
people feel, and sometimes decrease physical pain.
Because of the way these drugs work on the brain, they affect the ability to make
healthy choices and decisions. Even drinking
makes people more likely to get involved in dangerous situations, like driving
under the influence or having unprotected
Although substances can feel good at first, they can do a lot of harm to the body
and brain. Drinking alcohol, smoking
or using tobacco, taking illegal
drugs, even sniffing glue all damage the human body.
If you think you — or a friend — may be addicted to drugs, talk to
a parent, your doctor, school counselor, or
nurse. They can help you get the help you need.
Several kinds of treatment are available for drug addiction.
The two main types are behavioral (helping a person change behaviors)
and pharmacological (treating a person by using medicine).
Experts in drug treatment teach people how to live without drugs — dealing
with cravings, avoiding situations that could lead to drug use, and preventing and
It can be hard to overcome drug addiction without professional help and treatment.
It takes time and isn't something that can be done alone — everyone needs support.
Experts who help people with addictions are trained to help, not judge. To find a
drug treatment center in your area, search online, check out the SAMHSA
Treatment Locator, or ask a doctor or counselor for advice.