Despite the fact that many high profile people and celebrities struggle with drug addiction, there remains a stigma attached to the problem. The addict usually tries to keep the problem hidden, and when a loved one does reach out they\u2019re met with anger. Often this is because of shame. Someone near you could be struggling with drugs, and unless you know what to look for their charade of normalcy could be fooling you as well. The problem is that some people use drugs and don\u2019t become addicted, while others can\u2019t break free. There is no way to predict with certainty who will and who won\u2019t, but here are some known risk factors: \tFirst used drugs before age 15 \u2013 the chances of later addiction multiply when a person is exposed to drugs at an early age \tPresence of mental illness like anxiety or depression \u2013 people will attempt to self-medicate away their negative feelings by using drugs \tA family history of drug use and\/or addiction \u2013 there is a genetic component to some addiction \tHistory of physical abuse or emotional trauma \u2013 drugs are used to numb the persistent pain and shame \tPeers who use drugs. People struggling with addiction will go to great lengths to hide the problem. However, there are signs that you can watch for: \tSlurred speech \tReddened or glassy eyes \tUnexplained irritability \tThings disappearing from the home \tOutright stealing \tAppetite and weight changes \tDifficulty sleeping or excessive tiredness \tLack of coordination \tCan\u2019t seem to maintain focus. Drug use carries serious dangers such as overdose or death, and additional permanent health risks to themselves or someone else through injury or accident. Extended drug use can also irreparably damage kidneys, can interfere with long-term memory and may inhibit cognition far into the future, even after a person walks away from drug use. Drug addiction happens among people young and old, both sexes and every race and social class. Know the signs and be aware. The sooner you get a loved one help, the better their chances for lasting recovery.