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Causes Of Drug Addiction

Why do people choose to use drugs when they're so bad for you?

The causes of drug addiction are as varied as the amount of drugs that are available for use. There is no one cause for drug addiction just like there is no consistent profile of a drug user.

People who have a history of drug use or abuse in their families are certainly at greater risk for drug addiction problems. It has been shown repeatedly that children of alcoholics and drug-addicted persons are far more likely to exhibit addictive tendencies than children of non-addicted parents.

This is generally attributed largely to environmental factors and vicarious learning. The children of alcoholics or drug users see their parents escaping from problems using drugs. When they strike problems themselves they are naturally more likely than their peers to reach for the same crutch. This is not to say though that genetic factors are irrelevant. Certainly babies of addicted mothers can be born with a craving for alcohol or narcotics, and many believe that the 'addictive personality' is something that is imprinted in the genes of the addict.

Sometimes though there is no sad background story behind addiction. Often with an addiction to prescription drugs, the addicted person started out taking the prescription drugs because they were overcoming some type of legitimate ailment. Over time though they began to feel that they couldn't do without their medicine, and that if they stopped taking their pills, the pain would return.

People who have low self-esteem are certainly more prone to drug addiction. Such persons may feel they have no control over their lives and will turn to drugs as a way to cope. They often feel they can't please the people around them so they have to change themselves in order to fit in. The change is made easier by using drugs because the drugs transform them into someone and something that they are not.

Stress is often sited as the number one cause of drug addiction. Life is stressful for everybody. Some of us though are better able to cope with this than others. Drug turn to drugs as an easy way to forget their stresses. Once a person starts using drugs to overcome stress it can be hard to break the cycle because the stresses are still there once the high is gone, so the user feels he or she needs more drugs to bring further relief. That type of cycle leads to long-term addiction.

Part of the reason for the prevalence of drug addiction is simply that they are so easily accessible. Even for those who don't have contact with their local dealers of illicit substances, alcohohl and prescription drugs are easy to obtain and can prove just as effective (and damaging).

So why do people use drugs? The simple answer is people use drugs in order to control their moods, but as to why some people need so badly to control their moods while others manage to cope without drugs, there is no simple answer.


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