Healthsheet

For Teens: Understand the Cycle of Addiction

For Teens: Understand the Cycle of Addiction

Drugs lie. They promise that you’ll be independent and feel good. But they give you something quite different: you’re dependent on the drug, and that doesn’t feel good at all. Alcohol, the nicotine in cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine . . . each is a drug, and each can lead you along the same addiction process. It all seems so innocent those first few times—until you’re hooked.


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Trying It Out

Experimentation means you try drinking or using a drug out of curiosity, to see what it’s all about. Most kids try alcohol and drugs with friends or an older sibling.


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Misuse

Misuse means you use a drug to cope with certain situations. Some kids think using drugs will help them do better in school or at sports. “Weekend partyers’’ may think a drug helps them relax or forget problems.


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Abuse

Abuse means you use a drug out of habit, regardless of the situation. Some kids use a drug just to get through the day. They think they need the drug, even though they know it’s causing problems.


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You’re Hooked

Addiction means you’re hooked both body and mind. Kids who are addicted can’t stop using their drug, and use it on a regular basis (whether that’s every weekend, every day, or several times a day).



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