When someone we know is overwhelmed by depression or anxiety, we want to be supportive, but often we’re afraid we’ll say the wrong thing.
Addiction is a disease that affects your brain and behavior. When you’re addicted to drugs, you can’t resist the urge to use them, no matter how much harm the drugs may cause. The earlier you get treatment for drug addiction, the more likely you are to avoid some of the more dire consequences of the disease.
Drug addiction isn’t about just heroin, cocaine, or other illegal drugs. You can get addicted to alcohol, nicotine, opioid painkillers, sleep and anti-anxiety medications, and other legal substances.
At first, you may choose to take a drug because you like the way it makes you feel. You may think you can control how much and how often you use it. But over time, drugs change how your brain works. These physical changes can last a long time. They make you lose self-control and can lead you to damaging behaviors.