The question of how drug addiction starts is a complicated one. Substance abuse can start in many unlikely places.
Substance abuse can begin as a coping mechanism for stressors during the teen years, or to compensate for an undiagnosed mental health issue. Addiction can start with one pain prescription after an accident or an illness. It can also start in the workplace after your back goes after you carry a box that is too heavy. Many individuals who struggle with substance abuse may have even suffered a traumatic experience that has been difficult to overcome. It is important to remember that all of these listed scenarios are situations that you may deal with in your lifetime. However, there are ways to move through drug addiction and into a more healthful way of life.
What Defines Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is a way of describing a cycle of drug use. When an individual interacts with their substance of choice, it affects their brain chemistry in a way that typically causes happiness or numbness. This is a pleasurable activity that can overwrite negative body experiences such as physical or emotional pain. Unfortunately, it also creates an association between the act of taking a substance and the feeling produced by the substance.
When an individual uses an unneeded substance, they are abusing that drug. However, drug addiction is an escalation of drug abuse. When that same individual uses a substance as a coping mechanism, their body and emotional state both become regularly engaged in that use. This leverages that chemical happiness to artificially alter daily life. With most substances, it will take more of the drug to reach that same state with each use. This can negatively affect the body and oversimplify the emotional coping process in ways that affect the individual and their environment.
Causes of Drug Addiction
There are many reasons why an individual may start taking drugs that may depend on the point in their life that they start to use a drug and the circumstances that took place to cause them to turn to a substance for artificial enhancement. But some factors in whether that individual ultimately becomes addicted may include:
It can be difficult to cope with stress, and when that stress is amplified by your living conditions or work environment, you may turn to coping mechanisms that are not healthful. Even a cup of coffee in the morning affects your body’s ability to regulate your emotions.
Hereditary Links or Family History of Addiction
Family history is a serious indicator of addiction. This means that you may be somewhat genetically inclined toward addiction, perhaps through the way that your brain reacts to certain chemicals, or because of exposure to certain chemicals in utero.
Environmental Exposure to Drugs
The comfort level of an individual who has experienced others partaking in a drug is typically more tolerant than that of one who has never experienced its use. If an individual from a family where drug use was never displayed is offered prescription pain pills, it is likely that they will be less open to their use. They may research side effects and decide to forego their use.
Poor Mental Health
Undiagnosed mental health issues tend to be self-regulated by the individual experiencing symptoms. This may look like a person smoking marijuana to calm themselves from a manic episode, or a person with anxiety trying to seek courage or a more receptive emotional state from alcohol.
Pain symptoms can be caused by injuries or can manifest as observable or invisible illnesses. Because of the opioid epidemic in the United States, many doctors are less likely to offer prescription pain meds. This has lead to many pain sufferers seeking ways to self-medicate as a way to cope with their symptoms.
If you are experiencing pain symptoms, this can be one of the most potent reasons to begin abusing substances. But it is important to balance any substance use with healthful life actions. You can find ways to balance your actions with the right treatment care plan. Clearhaven Recovery has experienced professionals who understand that your needs may include an array of pain reduction methods.
Support Your Recovery at Clearhaven
Facing addiction recovery can be a daunting prospect, but you do not have to face this process alone. Our recovery center offers high-quality, flexible treatment options to support you while you heal. We understand that every individual struggling with addiction has unique needs for recovery and we will work with you to create a customized treatment plan. You can contact us today online or give us a call at 833.970.2054 to discuss individualized treatment options. Clearhaven Recovery is the clear choice for your path to wellness.