Why Do People Use Drugs? The Underlying Causes of Drug Addiction

Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. It’s important to find a facility that understands the complexity of what causes drug addiction and alcoholism. Continually using drugs or alcohol even though it is causing or adding to physical or psychological problems. Peer Pressure – Other kids, at school or around town, may push a person to use drugs. Teens and young adults may feel pressured to drink and use drugs, so that they will fit in.

  • If you are facing any life challenges that are causing you to turn to drug use, contact 12 Keys Emerald Coast for drug treatment and support.
  • You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription.
  • Since then, as addiction is now seen as a medical disorder that requires proper medical attention.
  • Children of parents who misuse drugs are at greater risk of drug addiction.

No single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors eco sober house cost a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. Historically, drug addiction and those suffering with it were maligned as morally weak people who made bad choices.

I really appreciated all of the compassion, support and understanding I received at Casa Palmera. The therapists, counselors, nursing staff, front desk, make you feel confident that you are in good hands abd that they really do care and make it easier to see through the darkness in a storm. Don’t go back to the neighborhood where you used to get your drugs. It may seem like you’ve recovered and you don’t need to keep taking steps to stay drug-free. But your chances of staying drug-free will be much higher if you continue seeing your therapist or counselor, going to support group meetings and taking prescribed medicine.

No matter what the triggering factors or causes for drug use may be, there is always hope for treatment and long-term recovery. Whatever challenges an individual is facing, there are positive and healthy ways to seek help. This misinformation may especially impact young or undereducated people who don’t have the life experience or ability to understand the dangers of drug use. Additionally, many people may see others use drugs and not face any health or other concerns, and so they think that it won’t hurt them either.

In Drug Addiction

When you’re addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs may help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal during treatment. Detox programs use a combination of therapy and medical treatment to ease dependence and treat the disorder.

causes of drug addiction

As people begin to rely more and more on substances to accomplish their psychological, physical, or emotional needs, it increases the risk of developing an addiction. When substances begin to serve their purpose and adequately fill a need, a person can become susceptible to relying on the drug in order to function https://rehabliving.net/ or feel in control. While familial or spousal support is often a key to recovery from substance abuse, lack of support is a key factor in developing a substance abuse problem. People who have a social support system or a cohesive family are much less likely to develop mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.

Other life-changing complications

The memory region of the brain records a memory of this feeling. The learning center forms connections between the pleasure, the drug use and the environmental cues that are present during use, which are known as triggers. Addiction is characterized by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol even though using is causing problems in your life.

Changes in brain function and structure resulting from addiction affect the way we think and behave. Substance use disorder is a “relapsing disease.” People who are in recovery from this disease have a higher chance of using drugs again. Recurrence can happen even years after you last took drugs.

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  • With an addiction, the person physically cannot live without drugs and may eventually die as a result.
  • They scale back their sensitivity to dopamine, leading to a reduction in a substance’s ability to produce euphoria or the “high” that comes from using it.

However, the neurological changes that drugs induce in their brains make it very hard to quit. Drugs change the brain so that users physically feel as though they need drugs to function normally. They prioritize drug use above all else, as drugs are the only way they feel they can make it through the day, without the pain of withdrawal. The Blanchard Institute cultivates a safe, comfortable environment for clients and families across North Carolina to be emotionally connected to their treatment provider. Our recovery management and alumni programs support a life-long recovery. Your journey to recovery doesn’t end with day treatment or outpatient, once you’re with Blanchard, you’re always with Blanchard.

Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs. The brain reacts to floods of dopamine by reducing the number of receptors for the neurotransmitter, which means your brain has reduced your ability to feel pleasure. Obviously, this leads to even more desperate drug abuse. Genetics determine about 50 percent of your drug and alcohol addiction risk, according to the National Institutes of Health .

Because they are mind-altering substances, drugs and alcohol can cause surges of dopamine, which is one of the brain’s chemical messengers that regulates emotions and signals feelings of pleasure. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol can actually change the way your brain responds to pleasure. This can lead to addiction, as your brain becomes dependent on substances to produce feel-good chemicals. You can then experience cravings and difficult withdrawal symptoms without drugs.

All of these actions can help counter environmental factors that might contribute to causing drug addiction. How fast one can become addicted, and the overall risk of addiction, varies from person to person, and by drug. The method of administration also affects how addictive a drug is; injectable and smoked drugs, for example, affect the brain right away, and are therefore more addictive. If you start using the drug again, talk to your health care provider, your mental health provider or someone else who can help you right away.


Rather, addiction is a complex disease that forms as a culmination of many factors. As mentioned, mental health disorders are highly common among substance abusers. TheNational Alliance on Mental Illnessreports over 50 percent of drug addicts have one or more severe mental health disorders.

People who are addicted to drugs are more likely to drive or do other dangerous activities while under the influence. During the intervention, these people gather together to have a direct, heart-to-heart conversation with the person about the consequences of addiction. Use of hallucinogens can produce different signs and symptoms, depending on the drug. The most common hallucinogens are lysergic acid diethylamide and phencyclidine . Stimulants include amphetamines, meth , cocaine, methylphenidate and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine . They’re often used and misused in search of a “high,” or to boost energy, to improve performance at work or school, or to lose weight or control appetite.

causes of drug addiction

This then becomes a cycle of drug use, which often leads to addiction. Many seemingly “normal” individuals succumb to drug abuse. This happens for a variety of reasons, which includes societal pressures, work-related burdens, or financial stress. Additionally, many working professionals have the means with which to support a drug dependence. They are often doctors, lawyers or other professional types with high incomes to pay for a drug habit.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are widely known self-help organizations in which members support each other abstain from substances. Social skills are significantly impaired in people with alcoholism due to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol on the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. It has been suggested eco sober house cost that social skills training adjunctive to inpatient treatment of alcohol dependence is probably efficacious, including managing the social environment. Increasingly, law enforcement is holding physicians responsible for prescribing controlled substances without fully establishing patient controls, such as a patient “drug contract”.

Reasons for Drug Use Within Different Social Groups

Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse and addiction, starting from as early as 12 years old. A key to understanding this common affliction is knowing that the medical term for substance abuse is substance abuse disorder. This helps us better understand it as a disease rather than a choice. Like most diseases, substance abuse disorder is treatable, and knowing the root causes of substance abuse makes diagnosis and treatment of this common disease possible. Addiction can be scary, especially if you don’t know what you or your loved one is dealing with, why it’s happening, and how it can be helped.

Some use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and relieve the effects of their symptoms. They may fall into a pattern of consistent drug or alcohol use because it helps their symptoms in the short-term, but it makes them worse over time. Cultural and societal factors determine what are acceptable or allowable forms of drug or alcohol use.

Eventually, the user must have the drug simply to function and avoid feeling sick or terrible; this is one of the hallmarks of addiction. Stopping use of the drug often causes intense cravings, which is another symptom of withdrawal and addiction. Once you’ve been addicted to a drug, you’re at high risk of falling back into a pattern of addiction. If you do start using the drug, it’s likely you’ll lose control over its use again — even if you’ve had treatment and you haven’t used the drug for some time.

Assessments usually require specialized skills, and are longer to administer than screeners. Public health practitioners have attempted to look at substance use from a broader perspective than the individual, emphasizing the role of society, culture, and availability. This model explicitly recognizes a spectrum of use, ranging from beneficial use to chronic dependence. – Treatment options for prescription drug addiction including addiction to opioid painkillers. Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities.

Injecting or smoking drugs can also increase your risk of addiction. Social pressure from peers and friends is a serious risk factor, especially for young people in danger of starting to abuse drugs. Some people are more vulnerable to drug addiction than others, just as some people are more vulnerable to cancer or diabetes than others. There is no single factor that controls whether you will become addicted. Overall, though, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of drug addiction is; on the other hand, the more protective factors you have the less risk of addiction you face. Using drugs at an early age can cause changes in the developing brain and increase the likelihood of progressing to drug addiction.


Historically most individuals with dual diagnosis either received treatment only for one of their disorders or they didn’t receive any treatment all. However, since the 1980s, there has been a push towards integrating mental health and addiction treatment. In this method, neither condition is considered primary and both are treated simultaneously by the same provider.

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