Where is the line between experimenting with drugs and drug misuse? There is no healthy way to experiment with drugs. These substances can impact your health and lead to a serious substance use disorder. While many view experimental drug use in a casual way, the effects on a person’s life and health should not be underestimated.
Why Do People Experiment With Drugs?
It’s estimated that nearly 20% of people in the United States have tried illicit drugs of some kind, including opioids, cocaine, meth and marijuana. That’s over 50 million people who have, at the very least, experimented with drug use. There are a number of reasons people try drugs recreationally:
- Curiosity or boredom: Drugs pique the curiosity of those who view using these substances as a new or daring experience.
- Normalization: Much of our culture has normalized drug use to the point where it’s seen as a common rite of passage, not a potentially life-threatening activity.
- Peer pressure: Teenagers are especially susceptible to experimenting with drugs if they believe everyone in their peer group is doing it. They’re afraid of not being accepted by others.
- Pushing boundaries: Drugs are often viewed as a means to rebel against parents or authority.
- To feel good: Many people struggle with underlying mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. These individuals sometimes experiment with drug use to try to feel better.
Why is Drug Experimentation Dangerous?
Teenagers and young adults are programmed to experiment. Yet drug use is an activity that comes with negative consequences and potential risks:
- Accident or injury: There’s no way to tell how your body will react to certain drugs. Overdose, seizure and respiratory distress are just a few of the severe injuries that can have fatal consequences.
- Repeat use: Drugs release a flood of neurochemicals throughout your body. These effects may seem to relieve emotional and physical issues. Because of this, you may feel compelled to repeat the drug use over and over, quickly leading you down the road to addiction.
- Developmental impact: Experimentation is more common among adolescents. Yet drug use can have a severe impact on the developing brains and bodies of teenagers, such as cognitive damage.
- Contributes to risky behavior: Drug use frequently occurs with other risky behavior, like driving under the influence or having unprotected sex.
- Health problems: Experimentation often gives way to long-term drug misuse, which can contribute to a variety of health problems, including sleep disorders, high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Mystery Ingredients: The creation of illegal drugs is an unregulated industry, so you don’t know what you are actually getting. Drug ingredients can vary and be cut or laced with deadly substances such as Fentanyl, Carfentanil, rat poison, etc.
Get Help for Uncontrollable Drug Use at Gateway Foundation
Experimentation can easily transform into addiction. Some people manage to experiment with drugs recreationally without becoming addicted. However, you never know how these drugs will influence your body or behavior.
If your occasional drug use has gotten out of control, Gateway Foundation can help. We provide a judgment-free, safe environment where you can break addiction’s hold over your life. Our evidence-based treatments are personalized to your exact needs to offer hope and healing as you learn to live sober and free. Learn more when you contact Gateway Foundation today.