Cause of Drug Addiction

I see this question posed so frequently: What’s the cause of drug addiction? I’ve asked the question myself many times. Whether you’re on the outside looking into an addicts life or you are an addict yourself and are questioning “How did I get here”? The cause of drug addiction is complex and varies from one person to the next. Many people (myself included), will tell you that meth addiction is one of the worst and hardest habits to kick. The grip meth has on an addict is physical as well as mental.

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. The information in this blog is from my own experience and from many internet references that I have referred to. Here are a few of the most common causes of drug use that can lead to addiction:

  • Curiosity
  • Humans are born curious and information about drugs is everywhere. It’s not hard to wonder what the hype is about if you have never been taught otherwise.

  • Gateway drugs
  • A person may have started out using something less addicting such as Marijuana and looking for a better high, they come in contact with heavier substances that offer a different type of high.

  • Anxiety, depression, low self esteem and stress
  • These are some major factors that I almost had to bundle together because they are all factors that deal with our psyche. A person’s mood and state of well being can play a large part in a person’s perception of right or wrong. When you add drugs into the mix, it becomes a habitual circle of self destruction.

  • Peer pressure
  • This is NOT a kids only topic. Adults are also pressured – Everyone has peers and if getting high is what is acceptable in your social setting or circle of influences, you will be pressured to perform or act in the same way. This isn’t just about the old commercials from the 80’s:”Hey Billy, wanna get hiiiigh??”

  • Alteration of the perception of reality
  • This is something I believe that some addicts don’t even realize that they are doing. Addiction actually makes a person believe they need it to survive. The physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal can be too hard to bare. There are also addicts that know that they are altering their state of mind and do it for just that reason. From my experience however, the phase passes early on and drugs become something needed daily if not hourly just to survive.

  • Environment
  • This is all encompassing in my opinion. We are all a reflection of our environment. If a person is raised in a home where drugs were part of life, or a culture where drugs are accepted, then it is much more likely that they too will become curious. Addiction generally doesn’t follow too far behind.

    The actual act of addiction is based on what I believe to be just one thing:

    Changes in the brain’s chemistry; Changes that can cause an addict to feel a sense of euphoria. The brain is usually flooded with the feel good chemical called dopamine. There is no real comparison to the way this feels to an addict. The actual effects can cause one or all of these for a period of time:

    A numbing that helps an addict escape reality.
    A feeling of “I can do anything”.
    A Rush of energy and feeling of really being “alive”.
    More energy than they have ever felt before.

    Knowing that, it isn’t hard to see the cause of drug addiction or why a person could become addicted to the feeling of being “high”. The act of addiction is in the form of constantly chasing those feelings. The longer a person uses, the higher the tolerance becomes and the more frequent the person needs to use in order to feel the high again.

    Thus the vicious circle begins.