Why Do People Take Drugs?
The cost of substance use disorder weighs heavily on the nation as it has to pay $740 billion annually to defray expenses related to health care, crime, and loss of work productivity. Substance use disorder also causes a host of problems mentally, physically, and emotionally. On top of the costs and physical/mental issues drug abuse can call, it also kills. In fact, there were over 63,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone.
Given these daunting facts, a lot of people wonder why there are still individuals who use these substances. Especially loved one’s of someone who is addicted and just can’t seem to stop using. It can be frustrating and feel like hell wondering why someone is using drugs and can’t stop.
There are a variety of reasons why people take drugs. It’s common to almost everyone though, to have certain issues they want to fix and look at the substances as the solution. It is important though to understand why people use drugs to help them get clean and recover from their condition. But it must be noted that the risk factor of one person does not necessarily apply to the other.
Additionally, the more risk factors an individual has, the higher the chance that using drugs can eventually lead to addiction.
Main Reasons Why People Take Drugs
1. Genetic Predisposition
There are people who are genetically vulnerable to use drugs. A study has revealed that addiction is moderate to highly heritable. Individuals in their early adolescence are inclined to use substances due to their familial and social aspects. However, there’s a significant decline in middle adulthood during which time their effects start to lessen due to aging. Thus, children of individuals struggling with addiction are at higher risk to face the same condition in the future.
Being in the company of people struggling with addiction is another reason why others use drugs. The people in the surroundings play a role in one’s propensity to use and abuse the substances. Exposure to an environment where drug use is common increases the risk of a person to also do the same. This involves the community, peers, family, and school.
As they say, curiosity kills the cat. It’s not uncommon for some persons to get curious about drugs and end up experimenting with it. They’re just after knowing what it feels like to have a high but this seemingly harmless attitude is one of the causes of addiction. Once the person gets a taste of the substance, it eventually leads to substance use disorder.
4. Prescription Drugs
Pain is one of the biggest factors that lead to addiction. While the intention of prescribing this started out to be necessary, it also can lead to misuse and abuse. Opioids are usually prescribed to manage chronic pain. Unfortunately, they are also highly addictive. The same is true for drugs used to alleviate some symptoms of mental health issues. Persons with depression or anxiety are also prescribed with drugs to ease symptoms. These prescription drugs also have an addictive nature.
5. Mental Health Issues
PTSD, anxiety, and depression are just some of the disorders than puts a person at risk of developing an addiction. They use substances to deal with the feelings they find hard to process. This co-occurring disorder makes things more complicated. If the mental health issues are untreated or increase, the substance use disorder problems generally get worse and increase as well. For people in this situation a dual diagnosis treatment is the best approach to end the addiction and start addressing the mental health.
When a person is suffering from ailments, they may turn to substances to ease whatever kind of burden they’re feeling. Those with chronic pain or mental health issues try to seek for solutions on their own and they eventually self-medicate using the substances. Drugs and alcohol may treat the symptoms but the comfort they provide is short-term and harmful. Ultimately, they forget to look for long-term solutions to their problems.
7. Peer Pressure
Adolescents and young adults usually have the need to fit in. This need is all too common among each of us. Unfortunately, some are led to believe that they can only be a part of something if they engage in harmful activities. The pressure of being in company with people who abuse the substances can push an individual to do the same.
In a world occupied by more than 7 billion individuals, it’s a reality that people can still feel lonely and isolated. These feelings can lead a person to use the substances in order to fill the void they have to deal with. Those who do not have positive daily interactions may be pushed to use drugs and alcohol just to feel contented or happy.
9. The Search for Feel-Good Effect
Drugs can give users a feel-good effect. The same is true of alcohol. People use the substances for the effects they bring. But many are unable to stop looking for these effects that they eventually become addicted to them. After all, it is hard to see the danger in something that makes you feel seemingly better.
10. Alcohol is Insufficient
When alcohol is no longer doing the trick, people need to find something else that would. If a few bottles of beer no longer have the same effects that they used to, some chase after the feeling and end up using drugs. They are just unable to rationalize the harm in everything they’re trying given how positively they feel about themselves when under the influence.
Many individuals want to pass their time away after a long day. Some use this downtime to socialize with friends where they casually drink and take drugs. While recreational drug users are not that hooked on drugs, they’re at great risk of being addicted to the substance.
One’s impulsiveness puts that individual at risk of using and abusing the substances. They place less value on delayed gratification and turn to immediate ones. This makes them prefer getting the high and feel-good effect rather than looking at the long-term consequences of their actions.
Rehab Helps Answer Why
All hope is not lost though many have found sobriety after years of addiction. Drug addiction help is available to those who need it, but more importantly is the will to quit. You can do it like so many other have. During addiction treatment you or your loved one will work with an experienced team of therapists and addiction counselors who can help you understand the underlying reasons for the drug use.