Characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite knowing the negative consequences, addiction is a chronic brain disease that has paralyzed millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimated 28.6 million people aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users in 2016.
Despite the tough laws and regulations, the mortality rate due to illicit drug abuse continues to grow. This rise in the mortality rate has been attributed to overdose deaths, adverse health effects, poor socioeconomic condition, etc.
The question “Why people use drugs when most of them are aware of its consequences,” has evolved through years to illustrate its interpretation on different grounds. The decades of investigation and large-scale studies highlight that most people start experimenting with drugs mainly because of social and environment reasons, such as peer pressure, dysfunctional family, etc.
While some people abuse drugs to alleviate their stress, some would indulge in such a risky behavior out of sheer curiosity. Because addiction is like an intricate maze, most people enter this world out of inquisitiveness but fail to find the exit.
After being trapped in this muddle, they lose themselves to the misery of addiction. Furthermore, there are some people, who despite knowing the exit, tend to regress to the same world due to the prejudices and stigma attached to substance abuse.
Causes leading to an addiction
Drug addiction does not discriminate anyone; hence, it can affect anyone, irrespective of gender, age, color or background. People with dysfunctional families and those suffering from mental disorders are found to be more vulnerable to addiction. Furthermore, addiction to any kind of substances may arise due to biological factors like predisposed biological influence, genetics, record of substance abuse within family and so forth.
Many of the illicit drugs contain compounds that tend to trigger its effect directly on the reward circuit of the brain. They work by flooding the pathways with the chemical messenger dopamine, which is known for inciting pleasurable feelings like euphoria. Over a period, the greed for more eventually increases and thus addiction takes a toll on health. Due to the prolonged use of substances the brain undergoes numerous alterations that can affect the key cognitive and executive functions like learning, judgment making, decision-making, memory, etc.
Various factors or a combination of factors can influence the risk of drug addiction. The more a person is exposed to these risks, the greater is his or her chances of developing drug addiction. Among all risk factors, people need to pay special attention to the following elements:
- Genetic influence: Genes account for half the risk of a person’s addiction to drugs. Moreover, it the children of parents who are dependent on any sort of substances are generally seen to develop similar propensities for drugs and other substances.
- Environmental factors: Besides the influence of friends and family, the early exposure to violence, abuse, etc. is a major risk factor for drug addiction.
- Rooted psychiatric conditions: The presence of a mental distress significantly decreases the stress-coping mechanisms of an individual, which further exacerbates the risk of using drugs and other substances to diminish pain and calm the agitated mind. The overwhelming emotions caused by disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. can force a person to self-medicate himself or herself using alcohol or other drugs.
Seek treatment before addiction takes a toll
Substances like alcohol and drugs may temporarily make a person feel good under its influence. However, it inflicts horrifying consequences on the users in the end. In order to overcome the challenges related to substance abuse, one is recommended to undergo an effective treatment. Although the road to sobriety seems tough and challenging, one can retain his or her normal life without much difficulty by undergoing adequate treatment.
If you know someone who needs treatment for drug-related problems, contact the California Drug Addiction Helpline. Call our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1946 to get the details about the finest rehab treatment centers in California providing comprehensive care to ensure sustained recovery. Alternatively, you can chat online with our representatives for information related to the best drug rehabs in California.