What leads people to drug addiction and alcoholism?

People begin using substances to alter their state of mind for many different reasons. In some instances, they’ve grown up watching their parents drink alcohol to alleviate social anxiety or promote relaxation. When these individuals face social discomfort or extreme stress of their own, reaching for a drink seems natural. Other times, people start drinking or using drugs in their efforts to self-medicate mental health issues that aren’t diagnosed and that lack proper treatment. In order to receive the most needs-specific care for drug addiction and alcoholism, it is often important for people to have a basic understanding of why they’ve started using substances to change how they feel.

This knowledge makes it possible for people to target rehab programs that include therapies and other support services that are directly in line with their needs. However, one very large part of drug or alcohol treatment will be exploring the possible causes of your addiction during private and group therapy sessions. Thus, even if you aren’t sure why you began abusing drugs or alcohol, you can still benefit from rehab. As you go through the intake process, you’ll be asked a number of questions about your family’s history of addiction, your early childhood years, your medical history, and your family’s mental health history among other things. The information that’s collected as you’re being screened for treatment is helpful for identifying the right environments, treatment types, and secondary support services.

Underlying Factors That Lead People to Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

One of the most common causes of drug and alcohol addiction is comorbidity. This is when a person deals with both substance use disorder and a secondary mental health issue that’s often untreated. When people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or chronic anxiety or depression, they may turn to alcohol or illicit substances in an effort to alleviate the pain that their conditions cause. Self-medicating in harmful ways can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of addiction in which the drugs or alcohol that are used to relieve symptoms actually wind up heightening them. As a result, people start increasing their substance use in exponential ways to again experience the euphoria or relief that substances once provided.

In many cases, this is how serious addiction problems are born. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol as the result of peer pressure. This is usually the case when an individual suffers from low self-esteem and is seeking ways to feel liked and accepted by others. Low self-esteem is common among people who’ve lived in emotionally or physically abusive environments as children. Past traumas and negative behavioral conditioning can also increase a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction. There are even many people who come from families that have struggled with substance abuse for generations and who are therefore, genetically predisposed to developing addiction themselves.

Highly Addicting Drugs

Some drugs are far more addictive than others. This has been seen on a grand scale in recent years as vast numbers of people from all age groups and all socio-economic levels have struggled with opioid and heroin addiction. With these and other substances like them, a person may only need to try a drug just once before finding themselves locked in the binds of addiction. Not only are some substances highly addicting, but in certain environments, they can also be highly accessible as well. This is why people who use highly addictive substances are often advised to enroll in long-term, inpatient treatment. Long-term inpatient rehab gives these individuals the highest likelihood of success by completely removing them from all temptations and triggers for a sufficient length of time.

During their treatments, they’ll have the opportunity to identify and address any additional underlying causes of their addictions, and to develop an array of healthy coping skills. Early use and lack of strong family connections can also serve as underlying causes of drug or alcohol addiction. Throughout treatment, patients explore all of the different experiences and other factors that may have contributed to their substance use disorder. Identifying the underlying causes of addiction helps people find the right tools, environments and treatment types for their needs. If you’re ready to learn more about your addiction and to find the perfect program for ensuring a safe and successful recovery, we can help. Call us today at 833-497-3808.