drug addiction

What Causes Drug Addiction?

In For Parents by Rebecca Flad

It is hard for non-users to understand how people become addicted to drugs. It is even harder for people to understand how drug abuse causes addiction despite the negative effects. They might see users as weak or terrible people for hurting themselves those around them. They just don’t seem to understand the reasoning behind drug addiction and abuse. Some may think about how much easier it would be to just stop than to keep going down that path, but little do they know it’s easier said than done.

Drug addiction is a disease of the brain. Having the willpower to stop is one thing, but having the physical strength is another. So what exactly causes drug addiction?

Genetics and biology

It is much easier for those with an inherited trait of drug abuse to become easily addicted. The process in which a user becomes addicted tends to be much shorted when the user’s genes contain vulnerabilities to drugs.

Gender, ethnicity and mental illness history have impacted whether or not a user is vulnerable to drug addiction. For example, those with a mental illness might be much more prone to drug addiction than those without the illness. This is because the brain is weak and more susceptible to addiction and abuse. Becoming exposed to drugs, in this case, can easily lead to a lifetime of addiction as the disease is introduced to the brain early on.

Social Surroundings and Environment

When someone is surrounded by “friends” that are continuously abusing drugs, they are susceptible to addiction. It doesn’t matter whether their friends are keeping it away from them or not, as long as it’s around it can be abused. Friends and family members that are users might allow others to join and use with them. Others might not allow it, but when an outside is around they could find themselves intrigued and ask themselves “what makes them do it continuously?” Curiosity and peer pressure go hand in hand with this subject. While some are willing to try it out, others are forced to try it out. It is much worse when the person trying out the drug for the first time has genetic vulnerabilities, as this causes addiction very early on.

There are also instances of physical and sexual abuse that can cause drug addiction. It can pose as an escape to forget about hurtful memories. It can even be a way to relieve stress and become at ease with their surroundings. In this way, the abuse of drugs increase more and more as problems are not being solved when they are being avoided.

Injury, diagnosis and health

When someone is diagnosed with a health complication and prescribed medication, they are extremely susceptible to abuse. This is because a certified doctor is giving their patient access to potentially addictive drugs. Pain relievers and other forms of medication can be easily abused when associated with treating an injury, disease or illness. Once the health complication is gone, some people may find themselves continuously using the medication although no physical issues are present. Drug addiction quickly becomes apparent in these instances, because although their body is healthy they are still using the drugs.

Although these instances and occurrences do not justify a person’s drug addiction problem, it should shed some light and understanding. Those that abuse drugs are not all doing it for the same reasons. Some may have more reasons than others.