Drug Addiction Causes

For many individuals, one of the first questions that arise when facing drug addiction treatment is what lies at the root of the addiction itself. All over the world, addiction scientists continually seek to find the base causes of drug addiction, in order to fashion treatment to allow patients to walk in sobriety in a fuller sense. However, with advances of modern science and psychology, certain probable underlying causes of drug addiction have been revealed. While each individual’s experience with addiction is unique – and similarly, with varying underlying causes to a drug addiction itself – there are common issues that contribute to the formation of drug addiction, allowing basic treatment modalities to be forged by drug addiction treatment centers.

Drug Addiction Causes and Solutions

Drug addiction is a complex disease, integrating belief systems, psychological factors, physical and genetic components, and personal history. Here are just a few of the common causes of drug addiction – along with the solutions to these issues that drug addiction treatment can bring.

Genetic Components

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated a strong genetic component to drug addiction. While scientists still search to isolate a gene, addiction science has found through both biological and qualitative evidence that genetics play a strong role in the formation of addiction.
Treating the Genetic Components

Due to the strong genetic component involved in drug addiction, drug addiction treatment centers provide detoxification as their first line of treatment. During the drug detoxification process, drug-addicted individuals are guided through the withdrawal stages of recovery, allowing the body to restore its chemical balance.

As a result, cravings dissipate, and withdrawal symptoms (most treatable with nonaddictive medications or psychiatric medicines) subside, generally within a period of two weeks. Family counseling, addiction awareness classes and personal therapy can also help individuals become better aware of the role of genetics in their drug addictions, learning to identify the signs of temptation and use coping skills to mitigate the desire to use drugs.


Environmental Factors

For many individuals, drug addiction stems from – or becomes exacerbated by — environment. From proximity to drug dealers and poverty to high-pressure jobs, unstable family situations and poor rolemodeling, environment can factor into the development of addiction.
Treating Environmental Factors

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Counselors work with patients in order to identify relationships, social situations, living conditions and other triggers that may initiate the urge to use drugs. Through identification and acknowledgment of environmental triggers, patients can learn to resist the urge to use drugs. Additionally, aftercare planning can help patients forge plans to amend their environments to promote sobriety.


Developmental Issues

Issues involved with the growth from childhood and adolescence into adulthood can also contribute to drug addiction. In particular, erratic home environments or parenting styles, early drug use, or addiction of a caretaker or sibling can all contribute to drug addiction.
Treatment for Developmental Issues

Through the use of family counseling, deep interpersonal work and life skills training, individuals can learn how to develop in areas that they may not have had a strong chance to in their formative years. Patients can also learn how to contextualize family addiction issues, learning how to re-parent themselves in adulthood with responsibility and growth.


Survival of Traumatic Experiences

Drugs are often used to self-medicate and numb oneself in the wake of traumatic events. Survival of abuse, neglect, natural disaster, sexual assault or combat can all trigger drug abuse and addiction.

Treating Trauma and Drug Addiction

Drug addiction treatment centers often offer dual diagnosis capacity, allowing them to treat for trauma-related disorders such as dissociative identity disorder (DID), post-traumatic stress disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Additionally, trauma-specific therapies are often offered at drug addiction treatment facilities. By healing old emotional and psychological scars, the need to self-medicate through drug use can be reduced or eliminated.


Mental Health Disorders

Some individuals suffer mental health problems, ranging from depression to schizophrenia, which cause a further form of self-medication to arise through drug use. In some cases, drug use has led to mental health problems themselves, complicating addiction issues.

Treating Mental Health Problems

Dual diagnosis drug addiction treatment centers can provide concurrent treatment of both addiction and mental health concerns. Treating a wide variety of disorders with both psychiatric medications (such as antidepressants, anxiolytic drugs and anti-psychotics) and intensive therapy, drug addiction treatment centers can provide relief for both conditions with higher success rates than isolated treatment would garner.