The cause of drug abuse and dependence is unknown, although there are a variety of theories. One theory holds that there may be a genetic component that predisposes a person toward using and abusing drugs. Another theory is that drug abuse is a learned behavior and that people begin to use drugs by copying the behavior of those around them. Medical professionals have not been able to target a specific cause.
Brain chemicals may alter the user's perception of the drug's effects. Long-term drug use changes brain function and may reinforce the desire to keep using drugs regardless of the consequences.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
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