Facts And Causes Of Drug Addiction Habits

Drug addiction is a serious mental health illness that is plaguing individuals from all walks of life. Some believe that addictive behaviors are the result of genetic predisposition to become an addict. Others believe that a chaotic upbringing is the root cause. Researchers in the field of psychology agree that it is in fact a combination of the two. A genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors coupled with environmental triggers leads an individual to develop addiction.

Depressants and stimulants are two of the most common classifications that are currently in use today. Depressants are substances like alcohol and opioids. Stimulants are substances like cocaine and methamphetamines. Both of these categories can produce overdose and death. Also, both are initially taken as recreational drugs. Dependence and abuse of drugs usually follow after a couple of uses.

Alcohol and opioids are nervous system depressants. This means that they slow down the body and mind. Those who take this type of drug are likely high strung and anxious. They are, in essence, self-medicating. These individuals would likely do well in therapy or through controlled drug prescriptions. They are often unwilling to admit that they have any type of problem that needs treatment and continue to use drugs as a means of “recreation” when; in fact, they are medicating away depression and anxiety.

Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are usually taken by those who want to be more hyper-aroused. These are the individuals who need a pick-me-up. Often, individuals who have taken a depressant begin to feel like they want to be active. They then take a stimulant in order to neutralize. This can send these users into a spiral of ups and downs that eventually shuts down various parts of the body causing severe permanent damage.

If addiction to any of these substances is not resolved, individuals will often lose friends, jobs, and money. Addicts will spend every last dollar that they have in order to score their next drug. This is because the mind feels as though it is dying if an individual ceases use of a drug. They will steal from friends and family in order to purchase more of whatever drug they have become addicted to. They will often avoid going into work. Many addicts desire their first high all over again. This is almost impossible. The body begins to build up a tolerance to any drug and the effects begin to deteriorate. The only way to get close to the initial high is to take more of the drug. This often doesn’t work quite well and only causes more of a chance of overdose and death.

In conclusion, quitting is a frightening idea for most addicts. For example, if an alcoholic tries to stop drinking cold turkey, they will likely have a close call with death. Alcohol has the most severe withdrawal of all drugs. If an individual takes cocaine for an extended period of time, they can damage the inside tissue of their nose and, at worst, cause cartilage to completely collapse. Quitting often means that they have to use their sober mind to sort out the consequences of what they have done to their bodies.

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.

The Causes of Drug Addiction

Addiction is a disease that affects the lives of so many people, the numbers are staggering. Even more alarming is the fact that many addicts are in denial, which means that the number of people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in our country could be far greater than we actually know.

The addict of drugs or alcohol is generally in a state of denial and believes that he or she can stop at any time. This is not true. Once an addict has begun the cycle of denial, they have entered the realm of addiction. Although they know it is wrong and they know the effects that drugs and alcohol can have on them both mentally and physically, they put these negative effects and consequences out of their mind and continue to use. This is the quagmire of addiction. How, then, does addiction work? Let’s take a brief look at what some of the determining factors are.

FROM A SCIENTIST’S POINT OF VIEW

Compulsion is the main aspect that propels an addict through their addiction. Addiction manifests itself in different ways, and can sprout up seemingly out of nowhere. Science has been studying addiction for many years now, attempting to locate the addiction centers to see exactly how they work. The trouble with this is that addiction is a very individualized behavior, slightly different with every individual it affects.

Psychological addiction is when an addict believes that he or she needs the substance they abuse to be able to function. Whether it is a drink to calm their nerves or a line of cocaine to give them a pick-me-up, the psychological addict honestly believes that they are fine, but that they require these substances to feel balanced. Although not as serious as a physical addiction, psychological addiction is very strong and debilitating for addicts nonetheless.

Physical addiction is when the addict’s body requires certain amounts of a drug to be able to function. This is quite common with users of crack cocaine, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and even alcohol. The addict has used these substances for so long and so frequently that there body is unable to function properly without certain levels of drugs and/or alcohol in their system. Without the drugs or alcohol, the body begins to experience withdrawal. Withdrawal is a painful process in which the body begins to shut down and violently crave the drugs that it needs in order to function.

GENETICALLY SPEAKING

According to some scientists, a person’s genes can determine whether or not they have a propensity for addiction. There are even some in the scientific community who have gone so far as to claim that certain ethnic backgrounds are more at-risk for addiction than others. Whether this is true or not, statistically speaking, familial traits do seem to play a role in the addictive behaviors of individuals. This could also be because those who have sought treatment in the past recognize it at earlier stages than those who have not had to deal with addiction in their families.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Environment has a lot to do with how individuals behave. Many addicts grew up around other addicts, whether in the immediate family or with those that they spent a lot of time with during their development. Neighborhoods where drugs are prevalent naturally have more addicts than “clean” neighborhoods, although no one is immune to the problem of addiction.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The fact of the matter is that addiction cannot be traced back to one factor. There are usually several precipitating factors that ultimately help to spawn an addict. A combination of genetic or family history, combined with an environment in which the potential addict is exposed frequently to drug and alcohol abuse compounds the likelihood of addiction in an individual. The important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease. No one chooses to become an addict; there are many factors involved. Seeking help and beginning a rehab program of recovery is the best way to fight back.