Impact of Drug Use on Your Life

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Drug use can have an immediate impact on your body and mind, but it can also affect your future and your relationship with others.

Legal issues. Making, selling or having illegal drugs in your possession is against the law. It’s also against the law to give prescription drugs to people who don’t have a prescription from a doctor. Punishments for breaking these laws include having to go to court which might result in being sent to jail, having to pay hefty fines, or enter a rehabilitation program.

Your relationships. When drug use becomes a larger part of your life, your relationships suffer. Conflict and breakdowns in communication can become more common.

Your safety. Being under the influence of drugs could increase your chances of being in dangerous situations. The effects of some drugs can cause you to do things you might not usually do. You might also be putting yourself at risk of overdosing. Buying drugs or trying to get the money to buy drugs can also put you at risk.

Your school work. You might not immediately notice the impact that your drug taking is having on your school work, but habitual drug use can prevent you from focusing on your responsibilities, like homework or concentrating in class. Your grades will suffer as a result.

Your job. Drug use can also affect your ability to concentrate at work. The side effects of using drugs-like a hangover, or a “coming down” feeling-can reduce your ability to focus. Poor performance at your job could cause you to lose your job all together.

Financial pressures. Regular drug use can become expensive. In extreme situations, people who are addicted to drugs might try anything-including illegal activities like theft-to secure money to get their next fix.

Homelessness. Spending most of your money on drugs might not leave much money to cover your living expenses, like rent, food, or utility bills. If you can’t pay these necessary costs, you could even get kicked out of your home.

Getting Help.  If you’re using drugs and finding it hard to manage life and relationships, help is available. Start by talking with someone you trust, like a friend or family member, about your problem. You might also want to speak with a doctor or counselor or other mental health professional all of whom can help you get professional treatment for your drug problem. Check out the Getting help for drug use fact sheet for more info.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times.  


Dear Auntie, People talk about drug and alcohol prevention all the time, but what is prevention and why does it matter?