Why Do People Get Addicted?

Why Do People Get Addicted?

Addiction is a rampant problem with no single cause or solution. When someone is hooked on substances like illicit drugs or alcohol, the chemistry of their brain is altered so much that it’s practically impossible to function without them. It’s futile to tell someone with an addiction to just quit, because it’s become such a powerful influence over their lives. To better understand the recovery process, take a look at some of the reasons why people form addictions in the first place.

Peer Pressure

Social circles can be a positive part of our lives in many ways. Our friends give us love and insight that stays with us forever. But if we’re not careful, they can also lead us down some dark paths. While a friend might insist that they’re not trying to pressure you, the desire to fit in can supersede the more logical part of your bain.

It’s only natural to want to be accepted by a group, but the consequences of addiction teach us how politely declining dangerous substances is the best way to go. Anyone who wishes to stay drug-free needs to assess their friend group and decide if they are the kind of people who encourage risky behaviors. If you suspect this is true, then you should look to foster more nurturing relationships. A friend is someone who brings out the best in you—not someone who tries to put the worst into you.

Unhealthy Coping Methods

Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. Some people go for walks, while others listen to music. Many addictions come from trying to find an easy way out of their problems—and it may seem to work, but only for a moment. The pleasure of using a substance rushes through the user’s mind and body, and it’s like their problems never existed. It’s only once the high wears off and they return to reality that they realize just how much they have to deal with.

Letting go of an addiction can be so difficult because it’s typically both the problem and the solution. Addicts will find their lives falling apart due to drugs and alcohol, but the only method they have for coping with distress is using drugs and alcohol.

Lack of Education

You may have been told from a very early age about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol and decided to stay away from them. The privilege of education is a blessing you should always count because not everyone has that. You might think that the effects of substances like cocaine and opiates are obvious to everyone, but you would be surprised.

Someone who’s familiar with addiction might also believe that the risks don’t apply to them. They’ll argue that they can try something just once or on occasion and be fine. However, addiction doesn’t pick and choose its victims. No one is too smart to become addicted if they pick up an addictive substance. The more we can educate people on the harsh truths of addiction, the easier it will be to stop it.

Genetic Predisposition

Some things run in the family, including addiction. If you look at a family tree and see that addiction claimed the lives of multiple members, then it’s not a coincidence. When addicts have children, the chances of those children becoming addicted themselves increases eightfold.

Anyone who knows that their parents or other relatives have dealt with addiction need to keep this in mind in the event that they are ever offered drugs or alcohol. These substances are dangerous enough on their own, but it gets worse when you have a genetic predisposition. Children taking after their parents can be endearing and inspiring, but there’s nothing cute about a genetic predisposition to addiction.

Addicted Family Members

If one grows up in an environment of constant exposure to addictive substances, they can become addicted themselves. There are the genetic factors and also normalization to consider. Having drugs and alcohol as a constant part of your living environment can make you see them as typical aspects of any home. There might also be a lack of stability in the home that causes a child to look to drugs and alcohol for comfort.

Final Thoughts

The reality of addiction is an ugly thing to consider, but it must be addressed thoughtfully if we’re going to fight it properly. If you’re struggling with addiction or know someone else who is struggling, you should know that you can condemn the addiction while still loving the person. Treatment is available for those who are ready for the responsibility of regaining control of their lives. Addiction can be tough, but self-determination is tougher.


When you’re ready to make a lasting change in your life, reach out to us to learn how we can help you recover from addiction.