Cause of Drug Addiction



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Cause of Drug Addiction


Cause of Drug Addiction (Substance Use Disorder)

Substance Use Disorder (SUD, i.e. drug addiction) is a brain disease. Imagine something lying dormant inside your brain, waiting for a trigger to unleash it. Without the trigger, the disease does not grow.

With a trigger, the disease starts and will, left unchecked, eventually kill you, one way or another. One person may have this dormant seed in the brain which causes them to develop the disease, while another person may use that triggering mechanism repeatedly, yet never develop the disease.





Cause of Drug Addiction:
It won't happen to me!

When a substance is introduced into the pleasure receptors in the brain a chemical reaction takes place that gives the user a feeling of relaxation, euphoria, energy, and a host of other possibilities. Nobody sets out to become dependent or develop a substance use disorder.

But when that area of the brain is stimulated, the addiction wheels are either set into motion as the user craves repeated experiences, or the brain is once again “dormant” after the substance wears off. We do not get to make this choice, as each person is either going to be subject to the disease or not subject to it. Developing an addiction is not predicated on using the drug repeatedly, or even by how much drug is used, but whether or the not their brain predisposes them to addiction to THIS drug/chemical.

Is their brain wired for alcohol addiction or not. If it is others will drink in high school but be able to cut down or stop, they won't be so lucky. At some point they will realize they NEED alcohol and can't stop using it.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
How it starts

The beginning stages of substance use disorder/drug addiction, causes us to crave more and to use more. The unintended consequences of that is our need to take more and more of the drug to get the same result.

Drug addiction causes the pathways inside the brain to be altered. Physical changes in the nerve cells are brought on by the drug. These cells (neurons) communicate with each other releasing neurotransmitters into the gaps or synapses between the nerve cells. This makes some drugs more addictive than others.

There are several other factors that contribute to drug addiction. We’ll go into greater detail on the “Symptoms” page, but for now the major factors are one’s genetic makeup, personality and peer pressure. Again we’ll explain these as we go along.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
How it effects us

To understand what causes drug addiction we need to first look at the effect of the drug on the individual. Of course, there are many variables to consider, but we will start by looking at what happens when a person takes drugs. We take drugs, either for medical purposes or recreation and there is a benefit or reward that we are trying to achieve.

For example pain medication is intended to bring relief to an injured or stressed area of our body. The beginning stages of drug addiction causes us to crave more and to use more. The unintended consequences of that is our need to take more and more of the drug to get the same result.

Think of drug addiction as a progression. A person uses drugs and at some point the pathways inside the brain are altered. Physical changes in the nerve cells are brought on by the drug. These cells (neurons) communicate with each other releasing neurotransmitters into the gaps or synapses between the nerve cells. This makes some drugs are more addictive than others.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
How Drugs Work

To gain some insight into what causes drug addiction, we turn to two major areas of examination to formulate a working understanding. The main target of the drugs is our central nervous system, so we look there first, followed by the individual actions of the drugs themselves.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
The Nervous System

There are two types of cells that comprises the nervous system—glial cells (often called glia) and nerve cells (often called neurons). There are some 10 to 50 times more glia cells than neuron cells in the system. One important distinction between glia and neurons are that they are not communicators. Neurons are the cells that communicate with other cells.

But the glia are an important because they help to provide fitness and structure to the brain, distribute nutrients to the system and they eliminate waste. The glia also make up the blood-brain barrier, which separates the blood from the fluid that surrounds the neurons.

This is important because the barrier allows some chemicals to pass through, but not all. This protects the brain from potentially toxic chemicals carried by the bloodstream. A psychoactive drug is capable of passing through this barrier, while others are blocked. Stated another way, the blood-brain barrier’s job is to separate harmful toxins from beneficial chemicals.

Neurons are designed to analyze and transmit information. This is important because everything we experience and understand as behavior is a result of the function of neurons. We have over 100 billion neurons in our nervous system, all communicating and having an effect on other neurons.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Understanding Nuerons


Neurons come in many shapes and sizes, but each neuron has four areas. The first area is the cell body that houses the nucleus and substances that sustain it. The second area is the dendrites, which extend from the cell body and kind of look like trees.

The within the dendrites’ membranes are receptors, special structures that recognize and respond to chemical signals. Next we have the axon, which is long and thin and its job is to conduct electrical signals. Finally, the pre-synaptic terminals at the end of the axon, look like bulbs, and that’s where chemical messengers are stores.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Why should you care about neurons?

So what does all this neuron discussion have to do with drug addiction?

Neurotransmitters carry information which allows us to experience pain, pleasure, etc. When a doctor administers an anesthetic, that drug blocks the pain by blocking the perception of pain. In a sense, we are fooled into thinking something doesn’t hurt because the vehicle for delivering that information is blocked. The communication between neurons is key to understanding how we react to a drug.

The effect the drug has on us is what triggers addiction. When we go from enjoying something, to craving it and losing control over our reasoning and our actions, that is addiction.

Let’s start with any person who is not using any drugs. All of the neuro function of the brain is normal and there is no foreign substance in the bloodstream to interfere or influence this function. Now we introduce cocaine and the drug circulates in the bloodstream. Cause of Drug Addiction:
Unintended Consequences


The user experiences euphoria, a very pleasurable experience. Human nature will cause a person to want more. They like the feeling and want to repeat the experience.

Remember that blood-brain barrier? It allows the cocaine to filter through and the neurons gather and transmit the information. Let’s fast forward now as our person repeats this experience over and over. The drug’s unintended consequences now come into play.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Actions of Drugs

The drug is carried to the brain by the bloodstream. It goes everywhere in the brain, but some drugs effect parts of the brain in different ways. Here’s an example: LSD molecules act on the serotonin systems, so anything that depends on serotonin is affected.

Serotonin plays a role in how much we eat, or the regulation of our weight. Diet drugs block apatite, because they impact serotonin. Low levels of serotonin may explain aggressiveness, or excessive alcohol consumption. People who have committed suicide, as recent studies have indicated, have a serotonin dysfunction role in the taking their own life.

Getting back to the unintended consequences of a drug, as the brain chemistry is altered, the brain is fooled into thinking that “normal” is when the drug is present. Take away the drug and something is wrong.

Highly addictive drugs such as methamphetamine and crack cocaine, have powerful brain altering potential, so much so that the addict actually believes that using the drug is an absolute necessity for life. The neurons and the systems they regulate have been altered.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
What Are The Risk Factors?

Genetic/Inherited

We are all a product of our parents. If your parents have addiction struggles, chances are you are more susceptible to addiction. That’s why drug addiction is more common in some families than in others. If your parents smoke, chances are good you will smoke. If your parents used alcohol, you’ll probably follow and use that drug in much the same way. If your father was an alcoholic, you have a predisposition to abusing that drug.

Drug addiction causes one generation to pass it on to the next.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Personality

Aside from the inherited factors, some people have a personality that is more likely to become drug dependent.

- People are curious, so that alone can lead a person to try a drug. We experiment and see what happens. - We are looking to relax and have pleasure.

- We all want to feel good, and we’re by nature impatient. Drugs give us an instant gratification that other things do not, so for that moment or hour of for whatever time-frame, we feel good. - We want what we want.

- Someone diagnosed with depression, attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity.

- Maybe there has been some stress, or anxiety in their life. Whatever the case, these are contributing factors.

Even some common personality characteristics, such as aggression, may be a factor. Children who do not have confidence, healthy self-esteem may be prone to turning to drugs to fill the void.

Drug addiction causes negative changes in personality that can lead to an even more destructive behavior.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Peer Pressure/Social

We are all wired to have relationships, and sometimes those relationships cause us to give in to something we otherwise would avoid in order to maintain the relationship. Peer pressure is huge and nowhere is this greater than during our teenage years. Kids want to be cool. It begins as a social action, to take the drugs to be a part of the group, to be accepted. It’s not just teenagers, as peer pressure takes so many different forms. There is social etiquette, for example, to take a drink during a party. “I’m a social drinker.” How many times have you heard that? Some people actually believe that drug addiction causes you to be accepted and part of the 'popular' group.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
How Easy To Access

If you want to get drugs, you won’t have to look far because they are everywhere. High school students can tell you this. Drug addiction causes people to sell drugs to the most vulnerable population, children.

It’s not just the stereotypical poor sections of the inner city that serve as the hotbed for drugs. Drugs are found in suburban shopping malls, rural schools, well-to-do private school, on the job in factories, offices and remote job sites.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Race, Ethnicity

We include this heading because we want to stress that there is no data to support any claim that one race of people or any particular cultural group is more prone to drug addiction than another. Drug addiction is a human problem and crosses all boundaries. Drug addiction causes do not include race.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Loneliness, Depression

We want to feel good physically and emotionally. Sometimes drugs are the substitution for a healthy life experience. The person in pain and they want to numb the pain. The drug numbs the pain and for a moment they don’t feel as poorly. The person needs to escape the pain of the life experience, and for a short while, the drug takes them away and they feel “better.”

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Anxiety

Sometimes people need some help coping with life. Everyday life becomes a struggle and simple things become too much to handle. Drugs are used to deal with it. In the case of addiction, we are not talking about the use of medication, under the care and observation of a doctor. People who have been clinically diagnosed with anxiety can lead a very good life. We’re talking here about people who just need to escape. Their drug of choice facilitates that escape.

Cause of Drug Addiction:
Additional Risk Factors

There are many contributing factors to drug addiction, which may give us some insight into why one person becomes addicted and another person does not. Ask yourself a few questions.

- Are they unhappy or angry, for example, and if they are, is there an external source of irritation or are they just like that naturally?

- Along the same lines, are they “depressed” or to put it another way, do they appear sad?

- Are there factors in their life that may cause them to seek relief, such as financial pressures, problems at work, loss of a loved one or other negative experiences?

- What is their psychological makeup? A person may turn to drugs if they lack self esteem. The drug makes them feel better, because it fills a gap that they are incapable of filling themselves.

Take to feel normal

As the disease progresses, taking the drug to feel better is not enough, they have to take the drug just to feel “normal.” Some people have a personality that is more likely to become drug dependent. For example, they may be curious and want to try new things.

That leads them to try drugs, and might be the beginning of becoming addicted to a certain drug because it meets a desire. People naturally want to relax and have a good time, but people are often impatient and drugs will provide instant gratification. Over time, the drugs become the only way a person can relax, or feel good.

There is a genetic risk factor to drug abuse and drug addiction. Just as you have inherited your parent’s physical characteristics, you have also inherited their chemical characteristics. If mom and dad used drugs, chances are high you will too, and addiction, like any other disease, runs in families.

Most people have an alcohol link in their family tree, so even if the parents did not use, there was an aunt or uncle, etc. The alcohol use is often the first step towards the use of drugs, so one generation might have abused alcohol and their children might abuse illegal drugs.

We are all wired to have relationships, and sometimes those relationships cause us to give in to something we otherwise would avoid in order to maintain the relationship.

Peer pressure is huge and nowhere is this greater than during our teenage years. Kids want to be cool. It begins as a social action, to take the drugs to be a part of the group, to be accepted. It’s not just teenagers, as peer pressure takes so many different forms. There is social etiquette, for example, to take a drink during a party. “I’m a social drinker.” How many times have you heard that? Some people actually believe that drug addiction causes you to be accepted and part of the 'popular' group.

Today, drugs are in our schools, in small towns and large urban areas. If you want to get drugs, you won’t have to look far because they are everywhere. High school students can tell you this. Cause of Drug Addiction:
Many start to sell drugs


Drug addiction causes people to sell drugs to the most vulnerable population, children. It’s not just the stereotypical poor sections of the inner city that serve as the hotbed for drugs. Drugs are found in suburban shopping malls, rural schools, well-to-do private school, on the job in factories, offices and remote job sites.

For more about Cause of drug addiction please visit our home page.

Summary of Cause of drug addiction:

Trying to find the cause of drug addiction is usually difficult. Each person is unique and because addiction is a disease of the brain, and each brain is unique, it stands to reason that each addiction is unique.

Many mental health professionals worry about diagnosing addiction but spend little to know time on the Cause of drug addiction.

Family history seems to be a clear cause of drug addiction. If your father/mother was an addict then you're more likely to be addicted as well.

Severe trauma can also be a cause of drug addiction. Many soldiers with PTSD and turn to drugs and alcohol to "medicate" the problem.

Emotional and physical abuse as a child can also be a cause of drug addiction. Sexual abuse as a child has a huge correlation with addiction and alcoholism.

Many behavioral health problems like depression and anxiety can be a cause of drug addiction. It is sometimes very difficult to tell which came first, the mental health disorder or the addiction.It is also difficult to decide how to treat these co-occurring disorders. Do you treat the depression or the addiction first?

Easy access to drugs and alcohol can also be a cause of drug addiction. Learning the cause of drug addiction may or may not help with treatment and recovery. It seems that treatment is not as related to cause as one would assume.

If you're wondering what is the cause of drug addiction in yourself or a loved one, seeking addiction counseling may help to uncover the answer.


and Finally Remember:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8






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