The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) reports that addiction is a complex disease, with most drugs creating a euphoric experience that rewards people to repeat the behavior of drug use due to the temporary “happy” feelings created.
While positive feelings can make it easy to understand how the cycle of addiction continues, it can be challenging to understand what causes addiction. An NIH study in 2017 found that one out of every eight adults struggled with alcohol and drug use.
With those numbers, Phoenix House Florida, Florida’s expert on substance abuse rehab in Tampa, compiled the top five common causes of addiction and what you should do if you or a loved one need drug abuse recovery in Tampa.
1) Chemical Reaction to Substances
As mentioned above, when someone uses substances, a chemical reaction in the brain creates feelings of euphoria. They want to continue feeling this way, which can cause addiction.
The neurotransmitter that sends these signals to the brain is called dopamine. When someone participates in substance use, dopamine is produced and released. This chemical signal creates positive associations with the substance use activity, leading to a higher likelihood of action repetition.
This cycle will happen over and over until substance use is part of someone’s everyday life. Not using the substance can cause feelings of unhappiness, or even pain and illness (withdrawal symptoms), which can also cause addiction as people try to avoid those negative experiences.
The NIH states, “Genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction.” Note this is a risk. This only means cognitive functions, behaviors, or emotions that could lead to addiction may be more present.
You are in charge of your path and your own decisions.
Psychology Today notes that most people do not grow up to abuse drugs or alcohol just because a parent or parent-figure did. It can just expose a child to substances earlier than they otherwise would be exposed, leading to a greater risk of addiction from a younger age.
The environment someone grew up in or was around can also be a cause of addiction. Exposure to substances early on or suffering from behavioral problems that can occur growing up in a household where substance use was present can lead to addiction.
Additionally, no matter the age someone is, being around people who are using can also lead to addiction, since it increases the likelihood of experimentation with substance use. However, this same principle applies to the positive impact seeing someone complete drug abuse recovery can have.
It is important to note that this does not just mean the home setting. Community, peer, and educational settings can all be places where attitudes and actions towards substances can increase the potential for addiction.
While addiction can happen at any point in someone’s life, the younger a person is, the more likely substance use can progress to addiction. As mentioned above, peers can impact someone’s potential substance use and addiction. A teenager trying to fit in and becoming peer pressured to try drugs may be at a higher risk for addiction, given that their brain is still developing.
There is also a correlation between stress and substance use, making periods of one’s life where high stress is common a more significant risk factor for addiction.
5) Underlying Mental Health Conditions
Finally, underlying mental health conditions can lead to addiction. Those struggling with substance use as well as mental health conditions are often treated at the same time. The reasoning is due to how both can impact each other.
Mental health conditions can lead to addiction, and addiction can lead to mental health conditions. Successfully treating both through substance abuse rehab or drug abuse recovery is essential.
Addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of preexisting conditions, childhood, or biology. If you or a loved one are seeking substance abuse rehab in Tampa, Phoenix House Florida can help!
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.