Many of us think people addicted to alcohol or drugs are individuals who lack good morals and voluntarily choose to use substances despite the negative impact on their life. Some of us think quitting alcohol or drugs is easy for someone with an addiction.
While it is true that, at first, individuals choose to drink or use drugs voluntarily. Over time, this action can transition from voluntary to compulsive. Here is where it became an addiction.
Through the years, studies have tried to identify the factors why someone gets addicted to alcohol or drugs. Researchers found common risk factors for alcohol and drug addiction.
These factors include genes, environment, chronic stress, trauma, and mental health disorders.
Researchers say that genetics make up approximately half of a person’s vulnerability to addiction. Ethnicity and gender can also affect a person’s risk for addiction.
There are studies about the connection between genes and addiction. By knowing what genes are involved in the risk of addiction, researchers can find the treatment that can match these genes.
Alcohol and drug addiction are mainly environmental. An individual’s environment, family, friends, neighborhood, coworkers, or school settings can impact one’s alcohol or substance dependency.
For example, if they live in a low-income neighborhood with a dysfunctional family, they can easily give in to alcohol and drug addiction.
Prolonged stress due to finances, marriage, work environment, or loss of a loved one can cause alcohol and drug addiction. The intensity of these stressors can increase over time, and coping can be difficult. They will ease this stress and anxiety by using alcohol and drugs.
Traumatic experiences impact the alcohol and drug addiction of an individual. Some individuals are having difficulty processing or getting past their traumatic experiences. They turn to alcohol or drugs as their coping mechanism to process their pain and trauma.
Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders are the primary cause of alcohol and drug addiction. Individuals struggling with anxiety disorder, depression, ADHD, or schizophrenia usually self-medicate to gain temporary relief from their pain. They use alcohol and drugs to cope with their symptoms.
Using alcohol and drugs if you have mental health disorders are not recommended. It can increase the intensity of an individual’s symptoms rather than ease them.
If you or someone you love suffers from alcohol or drug abuse, we can help you.