Substance abuse refers to the repetitive harmful use of a substance to alter the mood. These substances may be legal or illegal. Commonly abused substances or drugs may include alcohol, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, nicotine, synthetics, etc. Substance abuse usually occurs because the person uses drugs or substances in a way that is not recommendable by experts.
No wonder substance abuse can harm you in many ways. For instance, it can affect your physical and mental health. It can also destroy your relationships and cause you financial problems.
According to a report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), nearly 36 million people will be victims of drug use disorder by 2022.
The figure is alarming, which raises the question, why do people become addicted to substance abuse even after knowing the negative consequences? Simply put, different people abuse substances for various reasons. However, here are the most common reasons that may contribute to the substance abuse addiction in an individual:
- Curiosity and experimentation
There is no denying that human beings have the most curious nature. Since drugs are mysterious, most people feel tempted to try them. It is usually more common in young people. They are impulsive by nature and want to experience what it feels like to consume drugs/substances. They wish to explore the feeling one can get by using drugs. And while what seems to be a harmless experiment initially becomes an addiction without even knowing later on.
Younger people are most likely to develop an addiction because their brain is in the development stage. In addition, drugs affect the brain’s functions, such as decision-making, self-control, and judgmental abilities.
So, are you struggling with drug or substance addiction? No worries; luckily, you can seek help by contacting the Delphi health group, which offers personalized treatments for all addicts.
Answer this. Are your parents or other family members drug addicts? If the answer is affirmative, there is a high possibility that you will also develop an addiction. Keep in mind that how an individual’s genes affect the brain’s dopamine system functions significantly depends on how they respond to substance consumption. According to scientists, around 40% – 60% of an individual’s addiction risk is associated with genetic factors.
Parents indeed pass their genes to children. However, there is a high possibility of some changes in genes or DNA and exposure to other environmental factors. Due to this, a person doesn’t necessarily develop an addiction, even if it runs in the family.
- Environmental issues
Environment plays a crucial role in a person developing an addiction. For instance, if a person grew up in a household where they witnessed poverty throughout their life, they are more likely to have more inclination toward drug addiction. Likewise, people living in a stressful home environment are at higher risk of addiction. In addition, do you live in a community where crime rates are high and drug selling is common? In that case, chances are you began perceiving drug/substance abuse as a normal or acceptable thing.
However, note that nothing is permanent. Even if you live in a stressful or hostile environment, you can make some necessary changes and get your addiction under control.
- Peer pressure
One of the most common reasons people fall trapped in substance addiction is peer pressure. Let’s admit it, at some point in our lives, we all struggle to fit in. For this reason, some people may even resort to potentially harmful activities just to fit in. It is more common in teenagers or young adults.
For example, a person’s social circle has one thing in common – they all abuse drugs. So, of course, the person will feel pressure to use drugs even after knowing the harmful consequences of drug abuse so that they don’t feel left out.
- Trauma and abuse
It is no secret that every person has some past. Some may get through it, but others don’t. Especially someone who had a traumatic past finds it hard to move on and live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, a traumatic past can have an unwanted permanent mark on a human’s mind and soul. Even a childhood trauma can negatively affect a person’s mental health and may resurface when a person reaches adulthood.
The worst thing is most people having traumatic pasts prefer using drugs to help forget those unpleasant memories. A better strategy is seeking professional help and learning effective ways to cope with such situations.
- Kill boredom or loneliness
Another leading reason people turn to drug or substance addiction is boredom or loneliness. You might find it hard to digest that in a world full of social media, smartphones, and the internet, why would a person feel lonely. Yet, the sad reality is that despite having many people around and having several technologies, people still feel trapped or isolated.
And to escape such feelings, they turn to substances or drugs. Instead of finding solace in drugs/substances, a better way is to look for some hobby or meaningful activity that keeps your mind engaged.
Mental health problems are not uncommon and are widespread around the globe. However, not many people seek professional help to deal with their mental health conditions. Instead, they consume drugs/substances to numb their pain or suffering. It is a form of self-medication. Self-medication means that a doctor does not prescribe these medications to a person; they use them themselves.
No wonder doing so can give instant relief or keep feelings at bay for a short period. Yet, it isn’t a healthy solution in the long run, and the person might need a higher dose, which can harm physical health and sometimes even lead to death.
This reason is pretty straightforward. Most people use drugs because it makes them happy and satisfied. They use it to relax their minds from everyday stress and find much-needed comfort in substances. Certain drugs or substances help release chemicals in our brains, dopamine, responsible for making us feel good or pleasurable. Thus, many people, especially teens who wish to feel euphoria, consume drugs. Moreover, getting high helps people become more confident and in control.
Unfortunately, what might seem like an innocent, fun, and glamorous activity soon becomes an addiction. And addictions are hard to resist.
Drugs or substance addiction is a global issue. Every addict abuses drugs for different reasons. Simply put, the reasons for substance abuse addiction are as broad as many people who abuse them.
The interesting fact is anyone can become a drug addict, irrespective of their cultural background, financial status, etc. Even the most educated individual with a good-paying job and a happy family can become susceptible to drug addiction.
However, regardless of why a person becomes an addict, there is still some hope. One can overcome addiction and come back to normal life by paying attention to some tried and tested coping strategies.