As a psychotherapist, I see clients who find ways to deny or numb the pain of underlying anxiety , stress and depression. They attribute these reactions as some of the reasons to fall into drug addiction. The top areas I’ve found that contribute to drug addiction problems are negative childhood memories, stormy personal relationships, job related anxieties and coping with loss of a loved one.
One’s childhood experiences shapes the rest of your life. Challenging situations involving a tense family dynamic, financial difficulties or traumatic experiences can create a deep imprint. If someone didn’t have the ability to see a counselor, have a good support network of friends or be able to find avenues of relief through exercise a lot of the feelings have remained inside. Working through memories of a difficult childhood are important to resolve the past and not be it’s prisoner. Yoga, aerobic exercise and building a good support system are helpful tools to create healthier patterns.
Having a stormy relationship (or series of them) can lead one into distressing feelings of jealousy, insecurity and hopelessness. One may be in an unhealthy relationship due to one’s past. We place a lot of hope on having another person be the “hero” or savior and to rescue us from inner conflicts. It is important to have people to ask about the relationship that you feel themselves aren’t in destructive relationships. Often we are afraid to question whether the romantic relationship is good for us or not as we don’t want to face aloneness. Learning to live with one’s inner feelings and knowing we don’t have to buy into them helps find them less frightening.
Job related stress is quite common whether it is tension with co-workers, workind under a difficult boss or worries about downsizing. Often a work environment can have a lot of competition, deadlines and evaluations. Though some companies have human resource departments that will bring in classes and wellness trainings, many do not yet do this.
Dealing with the loss of a friend or loved one can seem insurmountable to some without resorting to drugs to kill the pain. The emptiness that this experience has and inner fear may make it difficult to sleep or function.
These are several causes of drug addiction for people and without support and insight it can be difficult to find healthier coping mechanisms.