Statistical facts associated with addiction and substance abuse are concerning, but many men and women choose to ignore the dangers. By understanding the main causes of addiction to drugs, it is possible to find appropriate treatment solutions that can get the situation under control and provide hope of a drug-free lifestyle in the future.

Emotional Causes

Often there are emotional influencers that play a role in the decision to use or abuse drugs. Depending on the specific situation, the exact nature of emotional challenges will vary. For example, an individual who was abused as a child may have a different emotional pain than an individual who is struggling with recovering from a traumatic car accident. Despite the differences, both individuals have a higher risk of developing an addiction due to that emotional trauma that impacts their state of mind.

Emotional Factors

Emotional factors will vary between different individuals. In some cases, the problems are directly related to known causes while other individuals will struggle to understand why their
emotional state is making them turn to drugs as a coping mechanism.

General Anxiety

Factors that impact the emotions may include:

  1. Traumatic experiences
  2. Abuse at any time of life
  3. Mental health conditions that cause emotional strife
  4. General anxiety
  5. Stress
The wide range of possible factors that contribute to emotional responses, that feeling of pain, discomfort or worry can trigger the craving for a solution that helps reduce the feelings. When individuals turn to drugs or alcohol as a solution, it is possible that an addiction will develop.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that some individuals are attempting to cope with the challenges in their life by turning to drugs as a solution. The warnings and science related to the substance is not enough to discourage individuals who are suffering with severe emotional pain.


Fighting Against Emotions

Although the causes and factors that contribute to negative states of mind will vary, the emotional responses will usually fall under similar categories for different individuals. According to Psychology Today, the feelings of anxiety that develop from trauma, mental health conditions and stress are ultimately triggering emotional feelings that make substance abuse seem appealing.

The emotions that individuals are usually fighting when their addiction is related to certain emotional factors include:

Lonliness and Depression

  1. Loneliness
  2. General sadness or depression
  3. Feelings of anger
  4. Consistent feelings of worry

Feeling sad or lonely is a natural part of life, but certain individuals struggle to develop healthy coping strategies. As a result of their inability to cope with the negative emotions that are a part of life, they reach for drugs or alcohol to relieve that feeling and start to feel better about their situation.

Coping with drugs or alcohol is very risky to human health. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 51 percent of drug-related hospital visits are the result of dangerous illicit substances like cocaine or heroin. Furthermore, about 2.5 million visits to the emergency room were related to substance abuse or misuse in 2011.

Drugs can cause individuals to spend time in the emergency room and may result in death. Using the substances as a coping strategy will only increase the risk that an addiction will develop that ultimately results in an overdose.

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The Causes of Drug Addiction