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What is drug addiction and what drugs may lead to such a condition?

Whether it's an illicit narcotic or a medication prescribed by a doctor, problems with drugs affect many Americans from all walks of life every day. Issues with substance use come in many different forms, but help is available and recovery is possible.

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What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes people to keep misusing substances even when they know they’re experiencing harmful effects. Drugs change the brain in a way that reduces a user’s self-control and ability to resist urges. Users may also experience a physical dependence, which causes withdrawal symptoms when they stop using and make it even more difficult to quit.

If you are not sure if you or a loved one has a drug problem, learn to recognize signs and symptoms. Addiction is different from person to person, but some common signs include withdrawing from people and becoming irritable toward friends and family, or experiencing behavior and mood changes. 

Someone with a drug use disorder can often lose self-control and continue to have urges to use, even in recovery. After treatment, there are steps you can take to keep living sober. Support is available through every stage of the recovery process, no matter what you’re going through.

Commonly misused drugs

Learn more about some of the commonly misused drugs and their effects below:

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