The root cause of drug and/or alcohol addiction is seldom straightforward. Substance use and addiction are linked to a variety of biological, psychological, environmental, and social risk factors. However, whether these connections indicate a cause-and-effect relationship is not always evident. It’s also unclear which is the cause and which is the result. Nonetheless, researchers have discovered several characteristics that might lead to a drug use disorder.
The stigma associated with addiction stigmatizes persons who are dealing with these challenges. Continue reading to see how the elements that contribute to drug and alcohol addiction are sometimes beyond our control, rather than being founded in deviant or immoral behavior.
1. Biology And Genetics
Some persons may be genetically prone to drug use problems due to dopaminergic system-related genes. Dopamine receptors are involved in pleasure and reward sensations.
Comorbidity can also contribute to drug abuse. Some medical or mental health conditions might make a person more impulsive, making them more prone to use drugs or to self-medicate. Anxiety and/or depression may be caused by a medical ailment or a mental health disorder, for example. To cope with these symptoms, the individual may turn to drugs. Substance use disorders, on the other hand, can lead to some mental health issues. As a result, the link between a mental health condition and a co-occurring drug misuse problem is murky.
2. Personal And Family History
A family history of drug use disorders can raise a person’s likelihood of using a substance for both genetic and nongenetic causes. Some aspects of their past may also have a role. Personal risk factors for addiction may include particular personality features. Impulsivity, sensory seeking, low-risk sensitivity, and neuroticism are examples. Individuals with certain personality qualities may struggle with self-control. They can be unable to assess risk. They may also struggle to cope with stress. As a result, many take drugs to cope with stress.
3. Disorders That Co-Occur
Co-occurring disorders arise when a patient has both a mental health diagnosis and a drug use diagnosis.
Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to identify. Substance use signs can disguise mental illness symptoms, and mental illness symptoms might be mistaken for substance use dependence indications.
People suffering from mental illnesses may turn to substance abuse to attempt to feel better, or they may battle with recovery when the symptoms of their mental illness linger after they stop using drugs or alcohol. Treating one condition will not help the other; rather, both must be treated together.
4. Environmental Aspects
The environment in which a person lives can have an impact on whether or not they utilize drugs. If a person’s familial environment and background involve physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, they may be more likely to use drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, friend groups may foster a peer-pressure atmosphere in which an individual is urged to use drugs to be more accepted or to feel more connected to their friends through common interests. This pressure may also apply to social media groups. Individuals may engage in modeling behavior and imitation through family, friends, and social media, which might include substance usage if others they see every day do it as well.
5. Societal Influences
Environmental variables may be close to home, yet social pressures to use drugs occur on a larger scale, which may have an impact on a person’s surroundings. This might include a more relaxed public attitude towards drug usage, as well as cinema and music that promotes it. When a culture allows drug use, an individual’s environment and community may also become more relaxed. This fosters a society in which individuals are more likely to experiment with drugs and develop an addiction.
Addiction is caused by a variety of circumstances, but assistance is available. Great Oaks Recovery Center provides drug and alcohol treatment programs both online and in person.