For many, drug addiction is an indication that a person is morally weak or shows difficulty coping with their problems with life. Some people think that a person who has become dependent on the use of drugs can just quit if they want to and quitting is just a matter of changing their behaviour and motivations in life. That certainly was not my story, nor is it the story of many addicts I talk to.
Unfortunately, drug addiction is a very complex disease that has biochemical effects on your brain. It is not a matter of sheer willpower for an addict to get clean. There is no single identified reason for the onset of drug addiction. Rather, it is believed that multiple factors can lead to drug addiction. There are several factors that can put a person at high-risk of getting hooked on drugs, and I will identify some of them below.
Genetics play a role in drug addiction among individuals. It has been found that those who have an immediate family member addicted to drugs have increased chances of becoming addicts themselves. This can be attributed to multiple gene sequences that are similar among family members, as well as similar brain receptors present among family members.
Psychological factors are still believed to be what comprises the bulk of reasons why a person gets addicted to drugs. Many of the psychological reasons related to drug addiction stems out of traumatic experiences during childhood such as physical or sexual abuse, problems at home, and parental neglect which can easily result to emotional and psychological stress.
Once this person gets to try and like the euphoric or relaxing effect of narcotic drugs, they will often succumb to it and use it as a means to escape their psychological issues. They end up self-medicating to decrease the debilitating effects of their psychological problems. Over time their bodies become dependent on the drug, and they become addicted.
Aside from traumatic experiences, psychological issues such as mental illness, depression, the inability to connect with people, poor performance at work or at school, and poor coping mechanisms can put a person at high risk of developing addition to illegal drugs.
An individual’s environment can also put him at risk of drug addiction. If the person grew up or is living in an environment where drug addiction is present and permissible, then it is very likely that they will get involved in drug use themselves.
The number of teens partaking in the abuse of illegal drugs is on the rise and this can be partly attributed to neglectful and inattentive parents. It is very common for teens to want to experiment and combining this with the lack of parental supervision can easily lead to drug addiction in adolescents. Helping your child with his issues will help him avoid having to run to drugs in hopes to drown away his problems.
Being involved in an environment where taking performance enhancing drugs are encouraged and belonging in a group of peers who are drug addicts can put you at high risk of developing the addiction yourself.
This is just a general overview of things that can lead to addicted behavior. Each addicts experiences are different. There is no one single thing you can point to and say, “That will cause addiction.”