By Sandy Baker
Why is addiction happening to you? Why can other people seem to use drugs or alcohol without consequence? Addiction happens for many reasons. Often, it is difficult to determine why some people become addicted while others do not. In the end, other people are not your concern. Understanding yourself and why you are prone to addiction will help you find the path to recovery.
Addiction: Causes & Conditions
During drug and alcohol treatment at our facility in Lubbock, TX, we will help you find the root causes of your addiction. In doing so, we can better tailor your treatment and give you individualized support to heal.
Even though each person is unique, addiction has some common causes. Addressing these causes and working through them will help you achieve a sustainable recovery and a happier, healthier approach to life and its challenges.
Addiction as a Coping Tool
Addiction can occur when we lack other ways to cope with life’s changes. Some changes are relatively easy to adapt to and accept. Others are more challenging. If you’ve experienced changes at home, at work, or in relationships and are finding it difficult to adapt, you may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
When you are coping with stress and other negative feelings, the brain is often looking for a way to feel pleasure and happiness. The use of drugs, many of which trigger the brain’s reward mechanism, can create that pleasurable feeling that the brain then latches onto. To feel more of that pleasure, the brain will crave more of the substance.
Addiction as Correlated to Mental Health Disorders
Mental illness and addiction often go hand-in-hand. Mental illness, whether triggered by trauma, genetics, or a combination of both, often goes undiagnosed, making it difficult to determine which came first: the addiction or the mental illness. Many forms of mental health disorder can create addiction risk:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorders
Using drugs or alcohol can seem to ease the symptoms of these disorders. When you use, you may not feel as sad. You may be able to focus. You may feel less anxious and stressed. Using drugs or alcohol to escape these symptoms of mental health disorder also triggers the brain’s reward system, encouraging you to keep using.
Addiction as a Result of Peer Pressure
Addiction often begins in young adulthood, particularly among college students. During these early adult years, the decision-making process is still immature. Young people want to do what everyone else is doing. They want to fit in. They want to feel as good about themselves as their friends seem to.
Addiction in college students can happen due to peer pressure and social situations. It can also happen when students, under significant pressure to perform at their highest level, turn to drugs to help them study longer and focus better. In these situations, drug addiction can occur within a short amount of time. This can often lead to complicated problems with relationships and school.
What Can You Do to Solve These Problems?
When you meet with your drug and alcohol treatment counselor, you will be encouraged to explore why you use. You will be able to determine why drugs or alcohol seemed necessary to you.
- Did you need a break from reality and stress relief?
- Did using drugs or alcohol help you stop thinking about past trauma?
- Did it just seem to be impossible to stop using, even though you didn’t know why?
These are all very real reasons men and women become unable to stop using. You are not alone, but you do need to act to get control and to reclaim your life. Our goal at The Ranch at Dove Tree is to help you do just that. Reach out to our team for immediate help.