Understanding Substance Abuse Causes and Effects of Addiction

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Different social groups from different backgrounds and demographics have different reasons and triggering factors for abusing drugs. While drug use can affect virtually anyone, there are particular groups in society who become more vulnerable to drug use and eventual addiction. While there are emotional, psychological, and physical reasons why people may choose to abuse drugs in the first place, there are several triggers that fall within these reasons. In general, there are three primary causes of drug use. Within these main causes, there stems a myriad of reasons as to why people start to use drugs.

You may use drugs due to a stressful environment, but your biology may reinforce the behavior. Ultimately, genetics and environmental aspects are involved in most cases of addiction. For most people, the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary. But as they are swept up into the cycle of addiction, the neural pathways in their brain change so they are less able to control their behavior and resist their intense impulses. Most drugs affect the brain’s reward circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine.

causes of drug addiction

On the other hand, when women relapse to substance use, they were more than likely affected by negative circumstances or interpersonal problems. In children and adolescents, cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy currently has the most research evidence for the treatment of substance abuse problems. Well-established studies also include ecological family-based treatment and group CBT.

Treatment typically involves group therapy sessions that occur weekly for three months to a year. Drugs affect the brain, especially the “reward center” of the brain. MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

Believing Addictive Substances Aren’t Bad

While addiction to substances has often appeared clear-cut, there’s some controversy about what substances are truly addictive. Development, or the age when a person starts drinking or using drugs, also plays a role in the development of substance and alcohol use disorders. It isn’t necessarily a direct cause but does affect their mental and physical development if they start early enough. Oftentimes, we do not understand how or why other people get addicted to drugs. Many of us mistakenly think that “drug addicts” lack good morals, and choose to continue using drugs despite the negative consequences. Some believe that drugs are easy to quit, and that people who are addicted simply lack the willpower or motivation to stop.

Ongoing therapy sessions may be needed after you’re released from a treatment program. Refugees frequently experience concerns about the health and safety of loved ones left behind and uncertainty regarding the possibility of returning to their country of origin. For some, substance abuse functions as a coping mechanism to attempt to deal with these stressors. In 2010 about 5% of people used an illicit substance. In 2015, substance use disorders resulted in 307,400 deaths, up from 165,000 deaths in 1990.

Tolerance happens when a dose of a substance becomes less effective over time. Our staff are highly trained with dual mental health and substance use licensing. Our medical staff includes an ASAM certified addiction psychiatrist & an addiction-trained primary care physician. Stopping https://soberhome.net/ some drugs then relapsing can heighten your risk of overdose, mental health problems, or other life-threatening medical complications, and should be done under medical supervision. Substance or alcohol use disorder may develop at any age, all the way into late adulthood.

  • For example, the US, devoid of such measures, has seen large increases in drug-related deaths since 2000 , while Switzerland has seen large decreases.
  • Maladaptive family dynamics can contribute to substance abuse.
  • Treatment options can be tailored to an individual’s needs depending on the root cause of their drug addiction, their background, and history as well as any other factors.
  • A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones.
  • Substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs may help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal during treatment.
  • What causes addiction is typically a blend of environmental and biological factors.

For women, marriage and marital stress were risk factors for alcohol relapse. This difference may be a result of gendered differences in excessive drinking. Alcoholic women are much more likely to be married to partners that drink excessively than are alcoholic men. As a result of this, men may be protected from relapse by marriage while women are out at higher risk when married. However, women are less likely than men to experience relapse to substance use. When men experience a relapse to substance use, they more than likely had a positive experience prior to the relapse.

What is drug addiction?

The most common chemical substance which is abused by pop musicians is cocaine, because of its neurological effects. Stimulants like cocaine increase alertness and cause feelings of euphoria, and can therefore make the performer feel as though they in some ways ‘own the stage’. One way in which substance abuse is harmful for a performer is if the substance being abused is aspirated. The lungs are an important organ used by singers, and addiction to cigarettes may seriously harm the quality of their performance. Smoking harms the alveoli, which are responsible for absorbing oxygen. Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others.

The advent of treatment and the attempts at the de-stigmatization of alcoholics and addicts is a very recent occurrence, beginning in the 1930s. Before that time – and even today – people addicted to drugs were seen as unethical and immoral. These people simply suffered from a lack of will-power, the common-sense of the times stated.

  • The first step to drug addiction treatment is seeing the problem and deciding to get help.
  • That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.
  • It’s important to understand that people use drugs for many different reasons, but that there is no one stereotypical drug user.

Present traumas, such as living in an abusive environment, can also trigger substance use as a means of forgetting the pain and suffering. Often, abuse is faced on a regular or even daily basis, and so drug use can quickly turn into an addiction in this case. Regardless of the triggers for drug use, it’s important to learn how to cope in healthy and productive ways. Unfortunately, many people turn to substances as an easy or perceived helpful way to cope. Over time, your brain gets used to the extra dopamine.

Is drug addiction fatal?

The majority of these hospital costs in 2011 were related to issues with alcohol. Additionally, in 2014, Canada also allocated almost $45 million towards battling prescription drug abuse, extending into the year 2019. In fact, the CCSA is heavily responsible for identifying Canada’s heavy issues with substance abuse. Some examples of reports by the CCSA include a 2013 report on drug use during pregnancy and a 2015 report on adolescents’ use of cannabis. Severe anxiety and depression are commonly induced by sustained alcohol abuse.

Treatments for drug addiction include counseling, medicines, or both. Research shows that combining medicines with counseling gives most people the best chance of success. It causes a person to take drugs repeatedly, despite the harm they cause. Repeated drug use can change the brain and lead to addiction. Although there are some schools of thought that stress the need for complete abstinence, many people are able to learn to control addictive behaviors, such as drinking, eating, shopping, and sex.

causes of drug addiction

Some people argue that addiction is a choice, but science says otherwise. It is true that engaging in substance abuse is a choice—at first. They may stem from legal troubles or from taking risks you wouldn’t otherwise take, such as having unprotected sex.

Know where your teen goes and who they hang out with. It’s also important to routinely check potential hiding places for drugs—in backpacks, between books on a shelf, in DVD cases or make-up cases. Monitor your teen’s online activity to check for illegal purchases. Don’t get so caught up in someone else’s drug problem that you neglect your own needs. Make sure you have people you can talk to and lean on for support.

Developing new coping skills can help you handle life’s stresses without relying on substances or behaviors. For a long time, addiction meant an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. More recently, the concept of addiction has expanded to include behaviors, such as gambling, as well as substances, and even ordinary and necessary activities, such as exercise and eating. Despite all the possible eco sober house rating, there is good news. More than ever, researchers understand how drugs affect the brain—and, as a result, have found treatments that can help people recover and lead productive lives.

Keep prescription medicines in a safe place, avoid stockpiling them, and dispose of any unused prescription medicines. You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use. Oftentimes, drug addicts are completely unaware of the devastation they are causing in the lives of those around them, especially within their own families.

Is Drug Addiction Hereditary?

People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery. A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug use and addiction.

Drugs affect your brain, including your decision-making ability. These changes make it hard to stop taking drugs, even if you want to. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, talk to a healthcare provider.

  • The advent of treatment and the attempts at the de-stigmatization of alcoholics and addicts is a very recent occurrence, beginning in the 1930s.
  • Continually using drugs or alcohol even though it is causing or adding to physical or psychological problems.
  • After multiple treatment centers, I entered Casa and feel like a switch clicked.
  • Additionally, they often find themselves associating with others who face the same challenges and who also use drugs.
  • Many seemingly “normal” individuals succumb to drug abuse.
  • Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.

Dual diagnosis is another complicated condition because of the way the symptoms of both disorders exacerbate each other. People with co-occurring disorders benefit from specialized treatment that considers how these conditions interact. For many Americans, drug use starts with a prescription. Opiate-based drugs likeOxyContinare notorious for both their addictive properties and their likelihood of being overprescribed.

Talk openly about the dangers of both illegal and prescription drug use with your kids. Providing a safe and open environment to talk about these issues can make a real difference in the likelihood that they’ll use or abuse drugs. Being aware of any signs of dependency can help identify prescription drug problems at an early stage and help to prevent them progressing into an addiction.

Drug Dependence

Sudden death can occur even after a single exposure. Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision. Signs and symptoms of drug use or intoxication may vary, depending on the type of drug. Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Programs considered are usually based on the type of substance abused. Detoxification and long-term follow-up management or recovery-oriented systems of care are important features eco sober house review of successful treatment. Long-term follow-up management usually includes formalized group meetings and psychosocial support systems, as well as continued medical supervision.

Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations evaluates quality of care provided by healthcare organizations. Footprints has the Gold Seal of Approval, which is the highest standard. The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers is a nonprofit professional society designed to offer support to organizations across the continuum of care.

A person’s environment can be part of what causes drug addiction. Drug addiction is more common in environments where drug abuse is seen or where it’s seen as permissible. Children who grow up in homes with drug addicts often become drug addicts themselves.

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