Causes of Drug Addiction

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.

Cause Of Drug Addiction

Whether you have a loved one addicted to drugs or you yourself are addicted, you may be asking “what is the cause of drug addiction”? The cause of drug addiction is a complex topic, being that each person has their own set of circumstances, but there are some common factors that can help you understand the cause of drug addiction.

  • Curiosity
  • Humans are born curious and information about drugs is everywhere. It’s not hard to wonder what the hype is about if you have never been taught otherwise.

  • Gateway drugs
  • A person may have started out using something less addicting such as Marijuana and looking for a better high, they come in contact with heavier substances that offer a different type of high.

  • Anxiety, depression, low self esteem and stress
  • A person’s mood and state of well being can play a large part in a person’s perception of right or wrong. When you add drugs into the mix, it becomes a habitual circle of self destruction.

  • Peer pressure
  • This is NOT a kids only topic; adults are also pressured – Everyone has peers and if getting high is what is acceptable in your social setting or circle of influences, you will be pressured to perform or act in the same way.

  • Alteration of the perception of reality
  • Drugs alter one’s state of mind and it’s for that very reason that many people begin using drugs and attempting to keep their mind in altered state can, and generally does lead to addiction.

  • Environment
  • We are all a reflection of our environments. If a person is raised in a home where drugs were part of life, or a culture where drugs are accepted, then it is much more likely that they too will become curious first and addicted shortly thereafter.

    These are just some of the most common things that can cause drug addiction. The most complex part of the cause of drug addiction is the changes in the brain’s chemistry that take place when a person uses.

    The Differences Between Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse

    A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, although some users haven’t realized yet that it is a problem, but the users family, friends, or special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having problem with drugs.

    People involved with drug problems or know someone who has at times thinks that drug addiction and drug abuse are basically the same thing, and should just be used interchangeably. But actually they are both different terms with different meanings. Complexity revolving drug abuse and definition has become increasingly clear and several efforts have been done to look of the right meaning both terms.

    Drug Addiction:

    The World Health Organization committee (WHO) had collected numerous of definitions concerning drug abuse and addiction and had suggested a generic term “drug dependence”. This addiction is defined as a disorder wherein the drug user’s behavior is being strongly influenced and dominated by the drug. It is a condition of recurring intoxication that happens when there is constant consumption of drug. It has characteristics of intense need or desire of continuous use, tendency of increasing dosage, unfavorable effects on both individual and society, and dependence on effects.

    Drug Abuse:

    Drug abuse is defined as the misuse of the drug or substance according the culturally acceptable standard. It is simply an abuse usage of substance which may involve excessive and habitual use in order to attain a certain effect. These so-called substances may be illegal, can be taken from streets and syndicates against the law, or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that are used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.

    Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:

    As both terms have different definition, their causes are different as well. Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has more forceful motivational condition. With drug addiction, it comprises the drug’s effect on the brain wherein it can become a strong motivational factor to use the drug again. On the other hand, drug abuse as a misuse of a substance, may or may not go together with a strong motivational factor to continue the use of the drug. In many cases, therefore, drug abuse does not necessarily make drug addiction, but drug addiction can constitute drug abuse.

    Patterns of Behavior:

    Drug addiction and Drug abuse have basically the same effects. Both have unwanted or unfavorable consequences both to society and the individual. Some symptoms and patterns of behavior of drug addiction and abuse comprise an abnormally slow in speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability of sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, series of excessive sleep, sudden constant wearing of long-sleeved tops even under high temperature just to hide scars of injection points, loss of physical control, sudden impulse and confidence in doing risky activities, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drug use.

    Knowing the fact that drug users are prone to deny their drug-related symptoms and behavior, the family, friends, and loved ones must be sensitive and be more aware of these signs.

    Being with a Drug Abuse or Addiction Problem:

    At times it is not easily recognizable that someone so important to you is struggling with drug problem. It could be that it has started very early but not noticeable since the progression is slow, and that person might have been good in hiding the level of drug use from you. Or since that drug has been used early on and slowly, you might have easily adapted to the users behavior to the point that it seems normal still. It can be that the realization that someone so important to you is a victim of drugs is painful. You should never feel embarrassed. There are so many people who are in the same position as you. Drug abuse and addiction have affected millions of families all over the world.

    There are available help and support everywhere. You can start by looking for support groups locally. Support groups can be in your very own religious area, private or government institutions, and small communities. By just listening to others who share the same experiences and dilemmas can be a very good way of support and give comfort. Other sources to find support and help would include a therapist, spiritual leader, a trusted friend or family member.