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Cause of Drug Addiction

The cause of drug addiction varies from addict to addict. Experimentation and curiosity are the first factors that draw many people to try drugs. They want to feel that "high," the sense of euphoria that comes with drug use. Others turn to drug use to cope with problems in their real lives. Whether it is past abuse (physical or sexual), school problems, work problems, or relationship issues, drug use can help a person temporarily escape the realities of his or her life.

Often it is questioned what makes one person abuse drugs to the point of losing their home, their family, and their job while another does not? There is no one simple answer to this question. The cause of drug addiction has many factors. A powerful force in addiction is the inability to self- soothe or get relief from untreated mental or physical pain. Without the self-resilience people often turn to drugs to deal with stress, loneliness, or depression. Unfortunately, due to the changes drugs make to the brain, it may only take one time using drugs before an individual is on the road to addiction. Some other risk factors include:

  • Family history of addiction. While the interplay between genetics and environment is not entirely clear, if you have a family history of addiction, you are at higher risk for abusing drugs.
  • History of mental illness. Drug abuse can worsen mental illness or even create new symptoms.
  • Peer pressure. If people around you are doing drugs, it can be difficult to resist the pressure to try them, especially if you are a teenager.
  • Untreated physical pain. Without medical supervision, pain medications or illegal drugs like heroin can rapidly become addictive.

One main cause of drug addiction is the inability to cope with crisis. Loss, disappointment, feelings of rejection, loneliness, and failure frequently lead to physical and emotional symptoms. As symptoms of headaches, tension, sleeplessness, and depression increase, medications become a solution for many. Some will get prescriptions from a physician or try to medicate themselves using other substances.

When it comes to the cause of drug addiction to prescription drugs, often the individual begins with a legitimate prescription for pain medication. They become addicted because they take more than the recommended dosage, take it more frequently than recommended, and continue using the drug after their initial medical condition clears up. For example, pain medication is intended to bring relief to an injured or stressed area of our body. The beginning stages of drug addiction cause us to crave more and ultimately to use more. The unintended consequences of that is our need to take more and more of the drug to get the same result.

Think of drug addiction as a progression. A person uses drugs and at some point the pathways inside the brain are altered. Physical changes in the nerve cells are brought on by the drug. These cells (neurons) communicate with each other releasing neurotransmitters into the gaps or synapses between the nerve cells. This makes some drugs more addictive than others depending on their affects in the brain.

Another cause of drug addiction is when a person is around drugs and is exposed to addicts on a regular basis. If a family member or close friend uses or is addicted to drugs, it becomes acceptable for other members to engage in similar behavior. In other words, it becomes a tolerated activity.

One leading cause of drug addiction is peer pressure. Contrary to popular belief, peer pressure can happen at any age. Adults fall prey to peer pressure to fit into new social classes, new workplaces, and new neighborhoods. Teenagers fight peer pressure on everything from looks to alcohol, sex and drugs.

Yet another cause of drug addiction may be the increased accessibility of drugs and the lower prices for many common drugs. Drugs can be found practically anywhere if a person simply asks. Street corners and alleyways are no longer the only place to find drugs. Schools, workplaces, and even the family next door might be new places to find drugs. With more drugs being produced, the price has also been driven down.

For some, the cause of drug addiction can be attributed to the need to mask other mental problems. For example, depressed people frequently use drugs to escape their sad feelings. Schizophrenics find that some street drugs can control their hallucinations. Denial and hiding the problem just leads to more problems in the long run.

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