A focus on health and healthy living in Canadian culture means that many young people are choosing not to experiment with, or use illicit drugs. Teens are still growing and developing, and using drugs can harm brain development. Because illicit drugs are uncontrolled, it is impossible to know what exactly is in them. Some people are at higher risk, including younger teens and anyone struggling with a mental health issue. Some drugs pose a greater risk as well, due to potency and unknown substances within them. Drug use has harmful physical effects, and prolonged drug use has harmful effects for everyone.
Most young people who try drugs do not develop substance use problems, but the risk is there, especially with certain types of drugs, and it’s worth getting the facts.
Drug use becomes a problem when:
- It starts to have a negative impact on your life, at school or work, or with family and friends,
- You experience withdrawal symptoms;
- You have difficulty cutting down;
- You find you need more of the drug to get the same effect;
- You feel like you have to use drugs to feel good; or
- It becomes your main way of coping with life’s difficulties and stresses.
Learn more about drug use: