Addiction is a serious issue for millions of Americans across the nation, both young and old. Those who struggle with addiction cause pain for both themselves and their loved ones. Addiction is not something a person sees coming, and it is often the result of numerous, often complex factors. Interestingly, two people could be addicted to the same drug, but for entirely different reasons.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is more than a desire for a given drug. It is a disease that alters the brain. It can be thought of as the relationship a person has with an object or activity where that object or activity becomes more important than any previous person or thing of importance to the addicted person. It is a struggle between acting on and resisting an impulse, but one that the person cannot willingly control due to the changes in the brain. Addiction impairs a person’s ability to function day to day and draws them into continuing to use even if they know it is causing problems.
The Most Common Causes of Addiction
Addiction can be caused by genetics, environmental influences, trauma, mental health, or simple curiosity. For the most commonly used drugs, heredity is a factor in over half of the cases. And in a majority of PTSD cases, there are also substance use issues. Below is a breakdown of specific things that lead to addiction for many people.
Peer pressure occurs at every age but is especially prevalent for teens and young adults. To fit in, people will try drugs or alcohol and are at risk of becoming addicted.
Loneliness During the Pandemic
Humans need other human connections, and feeling lonely can be painful. Because loneliness feels unavoidable and there is often no one to share their pain with, people commonly turn to drugs to escape.
Sadness, anger, heartbreak, fear, trauma — these can all lead to emotional pain that causes a person to want to escape their reality. Because the relief is temporary, it is easy to become addicted when a person continues to seek out the drug to escape the pain, often finding that they need more and more.
Because pain medication is often prescribed following surgery or an injury, the risk of becoming addicted to prescription drugs exists. Pain medication is often opioids, which are highly addictive. Some people also self-medicate due to physical pain, which can also lead to addiction.
When a person grows up in a home where they are exposed to drugs and alcohol, they are already more likely to use them. But if their parents also used drugs and alcohol in unhealthy ways, it becomes less about simple exposure and more about genetics.
Experimentation and Rebellion
Teens and young adults often become addicted due to wanting to rebel, have fun, or simply experiment. Sometimes, it is due to attention-seeking. Much of the addiction in America is caused by recreational drug use.
Stress and Anxiety
Anxiety and addiction are highly linked. Many people turn to drugs to reduce their anxious feelings, but the drugs can also cause anxiety, creating a debilitating cycle. The following types of therapy can help people struggling with stress and anxiety:
Getting Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction at Sunstone Recovery
As a fully remote intensive outpatient program and dual diagnosis facility, Sunstone Recovery focuses on treating mental health and substance use challenges for adults. Doing so through virtual therapy offers effective, advantageous, and convenient solutions for the adults in the program. Call us today at 855.833.9199 or contact us online for more information.