Can Using Drugs Help Me Deal With Anxiety and Depression?

Scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse answer common questions teens ask about drug use and addiction. The episode Can Using Drugs Help Me Deal With Anxiety and Depression? highlights the long-term health risks of misusing prescription medications or other substances and shares options and resources for those with mental health issues.

Can Using Drugs Help Me Deal With Anxiety and Depression?

Video length: 1:22



[Female voice over] Can using drugs help me deal with anxiety and depression?

[Emily speaking]

Sometimes when people are experiencing anxiety or depression they might reach to substance use to help them feel better or to escape and in the short-term, it can work but over the long-term, it just makes those conditions even worse.

[Amy speaking]

I think it’s really important to recognize this, and in the long term in particular drugs can change your brain, it can impair the way you think, I would say, if any of you are struggling with anxiety or depression or any other feelings and don’t feel like yourself I would really encourage you to talk to your friends, talk to your family and tell them how you’re feeling.

[Daria speaking]

And as a psychiatrist and expert in neuroscience, I can tell you that effective therapies for mental health issues do exist.

[Emily speaking]

So, if you're experiencing anxiety or depression it's really important to reach out to someone who you trust, to get help. And there's medical help available for these medical conditions. The brain is part of the body and it can be treated. It's really important to seek out the kind of help that will be sustainable over the long-term which substance use is not.

PULLOUT: Call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit to find help in your area.

[Female voice over] For more information check out teens dot drug abuse dot gov.