Can you Become Addicted to Drugs After the First Time Using?

drug abuse in red

A common belief, especially shown in media, is that some drugs are so addicting that even a one-time use could hook you for life. This belief has caused many to fear trying drugs, which was likely the point. Does this statement have validity to it, or is it just a myth? Recent research is saying that trying a drug one time won’t necessarily cause you to become immediately addicted, because frequency is a vital component of addiction. However, it could prime your brain to cause you to want to use again, and here’s why:

ABC News Australia states that using a drug for the first time, one may have mental barriers – for example, feeling anxious about the process of consuming the drug, feeling uncertain about the environment and people with whom you’re taking the drug around, worries about reacting to side effects of the drug, and more. However, once you’ve had the first experience, you will likely feel less fearful and more confident in taking the drug again. This is what’s dangerous about trying drugs.

Vice Magazine notes that it’s all a matter of dependency – once you’ve become dependent on a drug, you lose all control. What classifies as being dependent on a drug? Dependency is when your body can only function normally under the presence of the drug you’ve been taking. If you stop taking the drug and your body undergoes unpleasant symptoms from withdrawal, you are dependent. Dependence is different from addiction because it focuses solely on the body’s tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, however, addiction is typically right around the corner.

Dependency can be either mild, such as when a person is dependent on caffeine, or it can be life threatening if the person has an addiction such as alcoholism. In this case, stopping use immediately could kill the person. The body becomes dependent on a drug only after excessive and prolonged periods of use, which defies the nature of becoming addicted to something after the first use. Taking drugs for the first time is still very risky and dangerous, however, as it could cause you to feel more comfortable taking the drug, making for an easy pathway towards addiction.

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