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Drug Abuse and Dependence - Cause

Most of the time, drug abuse starts with casual use. People don't use drugs because they want to be addicted. Drugs can make you feel good for a while. They may make you feel energetic, self-confident, and powerful. You may take a drug to reduce stress or anxiety or to help you forget a problem.

Drug use changes your brain and how it works. If you continue to use drugs, you may develop strong cravings for them, and it may get harder to say "no" to further use. At the same time, you may begin to lose interest in activities you always enjoyed. This is because you may feel that they are not as enjoyable as using drugs. You may then become dependent.

Not everyone who uses drugs abuses them or becomes dependent. Other things that influence whether this happens include your genes, family, friends, and life situations. For more information, see What Happens and What Increases Your Risk.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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