1. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they not only do damage to themselves but to others around them. Family members and friends who see the drug abuser may feel they are being self-centered and reckless; not caring about who they hurt or what happens to them. What family members and friends don’t realize is drugs and alcohol begin to take over the abuser’s brain until they can’t function without their substance of choice. Because the addiction is so strong, drug abusers tend to forget about the outside world, relying only on the drug of choice to get them through their day. Even when drug abusers want to quit, they have a difficult time doing so because the urge to find more drugs is so powerful.

    Understanding how an individual becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol is something that will never be fully understood. Some people can use drugs or alcohol and never become addicted while others try them once and are addicted for life. While there is no straight forward answer as to why some people become addicted, there are some situations that may have occurred in their past that could lead them down this destructive path.

    Family History

    An individual is more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol if they have parents who use and abuse these substances. Having an alcoholic parent or a parent that uses drugs puts a lot of stress on a child. They may not get the attention they deserve or be educated enough to stay away from harmful situations. This puts them in danger of using and abusing drugs at a young age. The younger you start using drugs or alcohol, the more likely you are to become addicted. A recent study shows that 60% of children who grew up with a history of alcoholism in their family, end up becoming alcoholics themselves. 

    Child Abuse

    The type of childhood a person has can play an important role on their development. Children who were abused, neglected or experienced other childhood traumas will turn to drugs or alcohol to make them feel better. They continue to use throughout their childhood and into their adulthood to fill this empty void. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40% of children who begin using alcohol before the age of 15 will become alcoholics.

    Mental Health Disorders

    Individuals who suffer from mental disorders such as ADD or Bipolar Disorder have an increased chance of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. Most often then none, people who suffer from mental disorders use drugs or alcohol to feel better about themselves. If they suffer from depression, alcohol could make them more outgoing and social. If they have a problem with anxiety, drugs can calm them down and release them from the pressure they may be feeling. What the addict doesn’t realize is that drugs and alcohol can intensify their mental disorder, making it worse to deal with.

    Social Situations

    When people are exposed to certain social situations where drugs and alcohol are present, they are more likely to use the substances themselves. Whether they live with people who abuse drugs, have co-workers who drink excessively or attend a school where peers are abusing drugs or alcohol, the need to fit in draws them to using these addicting substances.

    Getting Help

    Many times substance abuse can be corrected when treated in its early stages. The longer the abusers goes without treatment, the harder it is for them to quit. Getting the right help and having the right support will help them succeed in being drug and alcohol free. Once an addict is ready to admit they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, it is necessary to seek help as soon as possible. Those who get help right away will be more likely to overcome their addiction.

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