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What Are the Causes of Addiction?

It is well known that drug addiction and alcohol addiction have some common causes; however, not everyone develops an addiction from simply consuming a substance. There are those who can drink often without troubling themselves with the burden of dependence, while others nearly immediately fall victim to it.

In the same way as other mental health disorders, there are a number of reasons for addiction that influence the development of the disorder. 

Let’s have a look at what leads to addiction

What Causes Addiction?

The prolonged abuse of substances can increase the risk of addiction, the more a person uses, the more tolerance they build—eventually leading to physical dependence.

But that’s not always the case, for some people addiction develops gradually over time, while others fall into addictive habits rather quickly.

Everyone reacts differently to substances, leading to the question— what leads to addiction? and why do some people develop addiction quicker than others?

Addiction is a multifaceted disease, really complex, and it can be challenging to pinpoint specific reasons for addiction. Some may point to an emotional problem, others to a spiritual one. 

It’s still largely unknown what exactly causes it but we are well aware of factors that can influence its development. Generally speaking, the more risk factors present in a person, the greater their likelihood of becoming addicted.

What Are The Causes of Addiction

In terms of drug and alcohol addiction, there are two main categories of risk:

  • Environmental Addiction Causes: The surroundings in which a person grows up, the culture they are a part of, and their family history can all play a role in shaping their behavior and attitudes towards drug use. Social influences and traumatic experiences can also drive a person to abuse drugs and become addicted.
  • Biological Addiction Causes: Drug addiction and alcoholism are not caused by any specific gene; however, addiction runs in families, which may point to genetic traits as controlling factors. Overconsumption of drugs and alcohol may cause imbalances in the body, which in turn may lead to physical and mental dependence.

Risk Factors For Addiction

It is possible to break down biological and environmental risk categories into different factors that might contribute to addiction. Among them are:

  • Consumption: The first time a person tries drugs or alcohol, it is a personal choice. After continued use, tolerance and dependency may develop; however, no one is born addicted to these substances. 

A substance like alcohol is not addictive for everyone; many people consume it without any problems, but for those at risk of addiction, it may be different.

As an example, drinking alcohol regularly is one of the causes of alcoholism, as the body builds tolerance and dependence over time. Addictive drugs are no different. Drug addiction is caused by prolonged use, particularly in those with a high dependency risk.

Drugs and alcohol consumed at an early age can also affect the way the brain develops, leading to addiction. It is also critical to consider how drugs are consumed. 

As an example, the injection of drugs intravenously may accelerate addiction faster than smoking them.

  • Family History: Although no specific gene has been identified as causing addiction, family history remains a significant addiction-influencing factor.

It is also possible that household education is one of the reasons for addiction. When a parent abuses alcohol, a child may assume it’s okay to do the same. 

Consumption of alcohol, for example, is a response to conflict or pain based on what someone has witnessed their parents or another family member do. 

A child who has been abused by an alcoholic parent may also be at risk for addiction.

  • Mental Health Disorders: People with mental health disorders such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to become drug addicts. When drugs are used to cope with painful feelings, such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness, they can worsen these issues.

Getting Help

Now that you understand what leads to addiction, you might want to seek immediate treatment for yourself or your loved ones.

 Outpatient LA can provide you or those you love with the help you need to get sober today and diagnose the underlying causes of addiction.

Ask how we can help you by contacting Outpatient LA today!

Get Real Help for Addiction Right Now.

Outpatient Los Angeles is available day or night to help you find the best treatment options that meet your personal needs.