Addiction is a disease with several risk factors – genetics, environment, personal behavior, and experience. Understanding more about what causes addiction may help you or a loved one prevent the development of an addiction.
It is still unclear what specifically causes addiction, as risk factors vary between each individual. However, scientific research shows that if a person has more risk factors for addiction, they may have a greater chance of misusing substances or developing an addiction.
The following are known risk factors for addiction:
- Aggressive behavior in childhood
- Neglect from parents or guardians
- Experimenting with drugs or other substances
- Having access to drugs at school
- Poverty in the community
- Peer pressure
Childhood Trauma And Addiction
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes trauma as any event or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as life-threatening or emotionally or physically harmful. This trauma affects an individual’s function socially, mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. In psychological terms, trauma is a situation or an event that a person simply cannot cope with. It can leave the person in an extreme state of fear, making them overwhelmingly afraid of imminent death, destruction, or actual physical or mental harm.
Because of the effects of childhood trauma, it can be difficult to manage negative emotions and stressors associated with it. This can often lead individuals to seek unhealthy coping methods, including substance abuse. A reported 90 percent of individuals in a behavioral healthcare setting have experienced childhood trauma. For many, this childhood trauma is often chronic and may occur over several years.
Bipolar Disorder And Drug Use
Bipolar disorder and drug addiction usually go hand in hand and relate on many accounts. The majority of drug addicts have a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder, and drug use can trigger bipolar disorders for those who have no history of mental health to begin with.
Many people with bipolar disorders “cure” their symptoms with drugs because it can be uncomfortable. When they are in a “low,” they use drugs to bring them up, and when they are on a “high,” they may use drugs to keep that going. But unfortunately, using drugs can make bipolar disorders worse due to the extreme “low” that comes down from the drugs. Also, drugs mess with the chemical makeup of the brain, and with bipolar disorder, on top of that, the results can be severe.
Prescription Opioid Misuse And Drug Abuse
A doctor may give you a prescription opioid to reduce pain after a major injury or surgery. If you have severe pain from health conditions like cancer, you may get them. Some doctors prescribe them for chronic pain.
On one occasion or another, you may take more than prescribed and, therefore, may not even mean to become addicted. You then start to misuse the opiates because you need more to feel the effect. The risks of dependence and addiction are higher if you misuse these medicines.
To prevent problems with prescription opioids, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking them. Do not share your medicines with anyone else. Instead, contact your doctor if you have any concerns about taking the medicines.
Addiction Treatment That Works at ASPEN Behavioral Health
Addiction, also known as a substance use disorder (SUD), is a relapsing disorder involving compulsive drug or alcohol use, meaning the individual cannot cut back or quit, even when it negatively impacts a person’s life. Like other chronic diseases, addiction is treatable with a tailored combination of medication and behavioral therapies that meets a person’s needs.
Recovery can be difficult. Aspen Behavioral Health puts patient care first with a private clinic nestled in sunny West Palm Beach. As a fully accredited drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, we help patients and their families with effective outpatient services.
Our West Palm Beach drug and alcohol rehab center helps people regroup and get support in a modern addiction treatment facility with many helpful amenities. Take a virtual tour of our photo galleries and experience the ASPEN difference for yourself.