People turn to drugs for a variety of reasons. No one case is the same as the next. Drug use is an incredibly complicated circumstance, with explanations that lie in the psychological, environmental, biological, and social spheres of life.

That being said, there are certain circumstances and life experiences that put those individuals at a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder or taking drugs. To prevent people from becoming addicted to substances, people must know the risk factors associated with drug use to prevent those with a higher risk from using drugs.

Understanding why people take drugs is a huge and important part of understanding how treatment and recovery can work. Understanding why people take drugs is not a preventative measure, it helps people already using drugs uncover the root causes of their addiction and drug abuse behaviors.

To fully understand the causes of drug use, you must get all the information possible. Please read on to find out more about genetic, environmental, psychological, and social causes that could lead someone to develop a drug use disorder.

What Are Some Reasons Why People Take Drugs?

There are several reasons why a person may turn to drugs. Below you will find those reasons broken down into environmental factors, genetic or biological factors, psychological factors, and social factors.

While these are not the only reasons that a person may turn to drugs, these categories encompass the majority of reasons and the most common reasons people turn to drugs. To begin, we will talk about the environmental factors.

The environmental factors of drug use are often a sensitive subject for drug users. This is because environmental factors include things like family, authority, home life, childhood, and school life. For people who have had struggles with family or experienced trauma growing up, dissecting their environmental causes can be difficult.

Many people who come from households where somebody is an addict or somebody uses drugs will also use drugs or substances. This is because it is a learned behavior that develops over time by seeing people in a position of authority or power use the substance. However, not all people who grow up with an addict in their household will become an addict themselves. 

By being exposed to drugs in childhood or while growing up, the risk that the child will end up using drugs increases. People who grew up in areas with lots of drug use are also at risk of developing a drug abuse disorder. This can include people who grew up in areas where there are lots of drug dealers. 

Other environmental factors such as an abusive household can contribute to the risk that a person will turn to drugs. Being raised in an abusive household is an extremely traumatic event.  Many people who experience traumatic events will self-medicate because they do not realize that they have experienced profound trauma. 

This translates into the psychological aspects of drug use. People with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders go off and turn to substances as a form of self-medication. Self-medicating is when a person uses a substance to numb the pain that they feel inside. 

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People who experience severe trauma during their childhood or even later in life will frequently self-medicate with substances. People who self-medicate often end up addicted to the substances that they are self-medicating with. 

Other psychological aspects of drug use involve feelings of hopelessness or despair leaving the person feeling empty. This often causes people to use substances as a way of trying to fill the void they feel. 

Genetic factors are also important to look at. Many people who have a history of addiction or substance abuse in their family are at risk of developing a substance use disorder as well. While there is no specific genome that indicates whether a person will develop a substance use disorder, a family with a history of addiction indicates that the genetic code for their family has either some genetic predisposition towards addiction or that the environmental factors for psychological factors have been the same for generations. 

Lastly, are the social factors of addiction. Many people who are not supported by the social institutions and structures that our society has may fall into substance use as well. This can be due to a variety of reasons. Places where there are no activities or places for children to go after school often result in high numbers of children using substances.

Social structures such as public play areas and after-school activities can help reduce these numbers by providing alternatives to drugs that keep the children engaged and experiencing life. 

Additionally, schools that are underfunded, understaffed, or otherwise uncared-for can have higher rates of children using drugs. This is because either authority figures and people in power in the school system do not care or there are not enough of them to have their attention on all the kids, leaving opportunities for some students to pick up bad habits, such as drug use. 

People can also be drawn to drug use recreationally. Many people will begin using drugs for fun to enhance the feeling that they get while at parties or celebrations. While they may think it’s a one-time recreational use, it can quickly and easily turn into a debilitating addiction.

Many college students experience drug use and substance use disorder because of party culture and drinking culture. Many students will brush off their drug use and alcohol use by saying that it is recreational or because they are young and in college. However, these are not liable excuses and some students may be suffering from severe substance use disorders.

Why People Addicted To Drugs Need To Get To The Root Of Why They Are Taking Drugs In The First Place

People who are taking and addicted to drugs must understand the root of what they are taking drugs in the first place. becoming addicted to a substance does not have to be something that a person lives with forever. There are ways to overcome addiction.

One of the most important parts of overcoming addiction is to identify why you are using the substance in the first place. When it comes to drug use, many people use drugs to self-medicate their pain.

Emotional and psychological trauma and pain are not easy to see for someone who is not trained to find it. Many people have experienced severe emotional or psychological trauma in their life and do not even realize it. Because of this, it makes it difficult for users who suffered a traumatic experience to identify that as a root cause.

This is where a therapist or counselor can be extremely helpful. Therapists and counselors, specifically ones trained for identifying addiction causes, help addicts to come to realize what the root cause of their addiction is. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very popular type of therapy for people suffering from drug use and addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the process in which therapists work with their patients to create new neurological pathways in the brain to change behavior over time. This helps to reduce the power of triggers as well as identify different behaviors that may stem back to a root cause, such as a trauma or mental disorder. 

Identifying the root cause and reasons for drug use is a huge step in the right direction towards recovery. Recovery without identifying why you became addicted to a substance is still recovering, and should not be negated, but it is incredibly important to uncover the psychological and emotional scars that we hold and how they negatively affect our lives.

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Why Is It Beneficial For People To Get Professional Help When They Are Addicted To Taking Drugs?

It is extremely beneficial for people suffering from drug use and substance use disorders to seek out professional help. Professional help comes in all shapes and sizes, and there is always going to be a therapist for a center that will be a good match for you.

Professional help is sometimes round at because it seems to legitimize the addiction. Many people who do not want to admit that they have an addiction will refuse professional help because it makes them realize how severe the situation is.

Realizing that you have an addiction that needs to be dealt with is a great first step. Taking a step further by going to therapy, a rehabilitation center, or another type of professional is even better! Professionals can see the issues getting in the way of our success from an objective standpoint, and give us insight into our lives that we may not have been able to pick up on before.

If you or a loved one is dealing with a drug use disorder, please reach out to a premier rehab facility today to explore the options that our professional center can provide you. Nobody deserves to live with addiction, and you are no exception.

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens

Amanda is a prolific content writer, and is in recovery from disordered eating. She has a passion for health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and being a mother of a beautiful daughter.

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