Drug addiction is a menace that has taken the lives of too many young people across the globe. Although there are drug diagnosis and rehab centers, the best way to treat drug addiction is to stop it before it happens.
Knowing the root cause of addiction will enable rehab centers and governments to curb the menace before it continues claiming the lives of future generations. Drug addiction doesn’t mean you have morally failed or that you lack willpower—it’s a chronic disease that requires extensive, long-term treatment.
Why People Use Drugs
There is no universal cause that applies to all people facing addiction, but all too often, people depend on substances to mask or escape pain. More specifically, the source of addiction can often be traced to untreated psychiatric issues like depression and anxiety. Drugs can provide temporary solace to people suffering from;
- Loss of a loved one
- Abuse or trauma
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic pain
- Relationship and marital problems
- Mental illness
But whatever the reason, when addiction catches up with you, you may face losing any and all control over substance use.
Below are some of the most well-known causes of drug addiction.
- Peer Pressure
Growing up in today’s world is tough and unpredictable. We live in a space where Instagram is used as a means of measuring your wealth. Once you’ve joined Facebook or Twitter, your popularity is suddenly measured by the number of likes and retweets you’ve accrued. These pressures and others have fostered a generation that oftentimes finds itself in unneeded competition. A teenager born in the digital age and raised in a world where status is determined by one’s presence on social media may be willing to go to extraordinary lengths for the latest phone or designer clothes and shoes. Peer pressure has long been an issue for both young and old, although the advent of social media appears to have extended its reach and exacerbated its dangers.
One age-old tenet of peer pressure is encouraging the use of alcohol and drugs. A teen who avoids drinking alcohol may find themselves treated as an outcast. The fear of being left out has motivated countless young people who would otherwise have abstained to indulge in, and all too often abuse, drugs and alcohol. The end result can become the development of an addiction, and in the most tragic of cases, a life of criminality or a life cut short.
- Life Change
Life is a journey defined by its highs and its lows. When life hits you hardest, when the lows come in waves and the highs are resigned to memory, the crutch of drugs and alcohol become their most appealing, and the danger of addiction its most present.
Losing a business, for instance, too often contributes to alcohol or drug abuse meant to mask the pain of hardship and failure. In that same vein, a teenager starting at a new school or moving to a new city may find it difficult to adjust to their new circumstances. This inevitably compels some to turn to taking drugs as a means to alleviate their stress. To a person struggling to embrace the pace of change in their life, sometimes an easy fix seems more appealing than a more permanent and healthful solution.
If ever you find yourself faced with daunting changes in your life and a choice in your path forward, it is worth remembering that no situation is permanent. The lows eventually cede to the highs, and yesterday’s problems become today’s opportunities. Bandaging your problems with drugs and alcohol means prolonging them, and trading today’s opportunities for tomorrow’s addiction, hardship, and tragedy.
- Financial Incapacitation
The social pressure to live a luxurious life, combined, no doubt, with economic recession, has seen many people struggling to maintain two jobs or more to make ends meets. A person might feel left out when he or she cannot attain for themselves the frivolous lifestyles flaunted by their peers.
The desire to live large, to drive the flashiest car, and to live in a posh estate are not bad goals in and of themselves. It is vital to remember, however, that such rewards are generally achieved one step at a time. Too many people are willing to nosedive into inescapable debt in an effort to live the “best” life without recognizing that success that comes all at once is seldom success that lasts. When eventually they are unable to fund their expensive lives, they may find themselves turning to drugs. Drugs, as is often the case, helps in masking the pain. When life seems hard, and bills are piling up, drugs promise another taste of the life they’d too briefly had; and a flood of tragic consequences they hadn’t accounted for.
- Emotional Breakdown
The emotional turmoil that comes with losing a loved one, serious illness, marital issues, and or other interpersonal problems represent another leading cause of drug addiction.
After the loss of a beloved person, the bereaved may understandably sink into a depression. Similarly, the pain of a divorce can take a tremendous emotional toll. Breakups, dissolving friendships, or strained family relationships may also lead to emotional stress.
Desperate for a simple and quick source of relief, people end up indulging in alcohol and drug abuse.
Drug use, to some extent, can usually be traced back to an individual’s environment. If a child is raised in a home where adults drink alcohol to excess and openly consume drugs, the unfortunate reality is that the child may become predisposed to engaging in similar behaviors in adulthood. It is therefore necessary for responsible adults with children in their care to endeavor toward setting examples of behavior worth repeating.
If you are a parent, be sure to remain observant of your child’s surroundings and the broader culture of the community you live in. Further, remember to speak frankly with your child about the dangers posed by drugs and addiction, and to exemplify the type of adult you hope they will become.
Drug addiction doesn’t happen overnight. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, or if you believe that addiction may be in your near future, we implore you to take immediate action; don’t let today’s problems become tomorrow’s tragedy.