Do they have a drug problem?

Are you worried whether someone you know has a drug problem? Consider what they use, how much they use and how often. Remember that many people try different drugs at various times in their lives, and then stop. For others, their drug use becomes a bigger part of their lives as they use more and more.  Is their drug use a problem?

Experimental use

Every young person will make a decision about whether or not to use drugs. Many will try drugs. Some will experience short-term harms. A few will develop long-term problems.

Recreational use

When drugs become a regular feature of someone's social life it can be called recreational. At this stage drug use is reserved for certain social situations, such as smoking cannabis with friends, or taking ecstasy when clubbing with friends in the weekend.

Problem use

Drug use can become a problem when the amount and frequency of use increase. This can be more likely for people who's everyday life is not as good as they want it to be, perhaps due to depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, abuse, discrimination, feelings of inadequacy, or loneliness to name a few. Drug use is problematic when relationships and a person's life begin to be negatively effected. They might already feel they have less control over their use.


Someone is addicted when they continue to use drugs despite an extremely negative impact on their life. If they stop, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, varying in severity depending on the drug, method, how much and how often they use. While addiction sounds frightening, a supportive plan has helped many hundreds of thousands of people overcome addiction.

BenYou don’t realise how much it’s consumed you until you’re clean.

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Signs you might be using too much

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your drug use.

  • You’re 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.

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.

  • You take drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.

  • You’ve lost control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.

  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the drug’s effects.

  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.

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You start off and you don’t care about what you’re losing and I think for me, I started wanting to just be fucked up and different.