Whether or not you believe that addiction is a physical disease, one has to admit that it’s an incredibly complex condition. No two people will respond identically to the same recovery method, and every addict has their own story of what got them where they are today.
Still, if you’re curious as to why you or someone you care about are struggling to kick a habit, you’re on the right track. Addressing the origins of someone’s substance abuse can be just as important as addressing the addiction itself. Here are four factors that can exist at the root of addiction.
- Mental health disorders.
Anxiety, depression, bipolar, and more occur frequently with substance abuse. Some mental health conditions actually come with an increased propensity for substance abuse; a fact which makes it clear that proper care for mental disorders can help reduce addiction cases.
Lack of mental health services can lead some people to self-medicate, which in turn becomes an addiction. Nearly 70% of all alcohol sold is consumed by someone who has, at some point in their life, been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
- Family influence.
The culture we’re exposed to growing up has an undeniable influence on how we carry ourselves in adulthood. If you grew up with parents who used drugs very casually, you may not exercise much caution when you encounter them outside of the home, in your adolescence and beyond.
Along with this is genetic predisposition. To be clear, your DNA does not determine whether or not you’ll be an addict – your choices matter most. But when you combine that genetic predisposition with a family environment that exposes you to substance abuse, it can be more difficult to avoid getting hooked.
Speak to recovery experts at any of the treatment centers at https://arcproject.org.uk/addiction-treatment, and you’re sure to learn that one event can lead to a lifelong relationship with addictive substances.
Lately, we’ve heard much about this from those who sustain an injury, get a prescription for opiate painkillers, and end up locked in the cycle of addiction. These days, it’s easier than ever for a broken arm to serve as an average person’s first step toward heroin.
- Poor coping skills.
We all suffer traumatic events at some point in our lives. The loss of a loved one, childhood abuse, a terrible accident – all of these leave an indelible print on us, and for some, the memories are too much to bear. So we attempt to dull them with drugs and alcohol.
But this can impact us even when the events aren’t especially traumatic. Perfectionism, difficulty handling rejection, and other troubles related to self-perception and the disappointments in life can contribute. The resources that provide effective coping strategies just aren’t as widely available as substances like alcohol or pills.
What lies beneath addiction? It will vary, but what shouldn’t is treatment that works to resolve the underlying causes. Often, substance abuse is a symptom of psychological pain or conditioning, and bringing these issues to the surface can make a profound impact on one’s ability to recover.