Everyone understands the dangers of drug abuse, yet, millions of people continue to use them. The adverse effects of the vice are evident. They include health complications, destroyed careers, ruined relationships, and financial challenges. Addiction affects entire communities, not just the addict.
It ruins families leaving children unsupervised and prone to abuse, crime, and homelessness. It’s a burden on the economy as addicts are less productive, sometimes causing them to resort to criminal activity to get money. So, why do people continue using drugs even when they know the risks?
They Think They Can Control It
Most people who start using drugs don’t think they’ll become addicted. They believe they can control it and only use it recreationally. They begin by using occasionally, but before long, they use more frequently.
They may try to quit but find they can’t. That’s because addiction is a disease that changes the brain. The part of the brain that controls decision-making and impulse control is altered, making it difficult to resist the urge to use. Faith-based addiction treatments are one way to overcome addiction.
However, understand that what starts as a pass time can quickly turn into an addiction. It soon becomes a way to cope with the stresses of life. Also, as your body builds tolerance, you need to use more of the substance to get the same effect.
To Escape From Something
Some people turn to drugs to escape from problems in their life. They may be trying to forget about trauma or pain, or they may be numbing emotional distress. One day, they may innocently take more alcohol than usual and realize they like how it makes them feel. They begin to drink more frequently to cope with their problems. However, they’re only masking the pain, which will still be there when they sober up.
In some cases, people use drugs to cope in social setups. Someone may self-medicate with alcohol to make them more outgoing and comfortable in some social circles. Others love how the high makes them the center of attention, so they continue using drugs despite the problems caused.
Others Influence Them
People are social creatures and look to others for guidance, especially when young. Everyone wants to fit in and be like their friends. You are more likely to use drugs if your friends abuse them. You’ll see them using substances and think it’s no big deal so you try it too.
You may not even know what you’re taking. It could be laced with something more potent and dangerous. Also, people in your social circle can pressure you into using substances. They may make fun of you or call you names if you don’t want to participate. Giving in starts a dangerous cycle that’s hard to break.
Children from homes where drug use is present are more likely to start using themselves. It could be they’re exposed to substances at an early age. They also discover it makes them feel grown-up like their parents. They think it will make them feel better or take away their problems. Unfortunately, it usually does the opposite.
They Have Easy Access to Drugs
In some cases, people start using because drugs are easily accessible. For example, teenagers may find alcohol at home and start drinking. They may think it’s no big deal because their parents do it. However, they don’t realize the difference between responsible drinking and alcoholism. The line is often blurred, especially when it’s accepted in your family.
Substances may also be more available in specific communities. For example, inner-city neighborhoods often have a higher rate of drug use. There may be drug dealers everywhere and people using drugs in plain sight. If exposed to it constantly, you’re more likely to try it.
A Genetic Predisposition
You’re more likely to start using substances if addiction runs in your family. You could have a genetic predisposition to addiction. Studies show that addiction is 40-60% heritable. If your parents are addicts, you’re more likely to become one. Also, you tend to normalize substance use if it’s present in your family. You may see your parents using it and think it’s okay because that’s how they are.
Some people start using drugs to ease physical pain. They may be dealing with a chronic condition or recovering from an injury. However, self-medicating can quickly lead to addiction. The body builds tolerance, so you need more of the substance to get the same effect. You may become dependent on it emotionally.
Also, some prescription drugs can be addictive. People may start taking painkillers after an injury, become addicted, and turn to illegal drugs when they can no longer get a prescription.
Mental Health Disorders
People with mental health disorders are more likely to start using drugs. A depressed person will start drinking to ease their symptoms or to feel more relaxed. It quickly leads to addiction. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break. Soon you can’t separate the two.
Many people are curious about drugs and want to try them. They hear others talking about the experience and want to see what it’s like. Unfortunately, trying drugs once can quickly lead to addiction. The body builds tolerance, so you need more of the substance to get the same effect.
Help Is Available
As you will realize, an innocent curiosity is dangerous as it can lead to a life-threatening addiction. The grips of addiction are hard to break, therefore it’s for the best to avoid substances altogether. However, if you find yourself in this situation, help is available. Substance abuse experts are willing to walk you through every step of recovery.