The Causes Of Addiction
By Patrick Mclemore
There is much debate about the causes of addiction. Because there are two components to addiction --the physical
addiction and the psychological addiction-- it is likely that many factors create a risk for addiction.
In the case of certain drugs such as methamphetamine or heroin, almost any individual who comes into contact
will become addicted.
On the other hand, addictive behaviors such as shopping or eating are used moderately by the majority of the
population and only become addictions for some.
The following risk factors are involved in developing addictions:
Genetics: It is believed that addictions such as alcoholism may be inherited. Individuals from families
with a history of alcoholism are more likely to develop the disease themselves.
Also, individuals from families with a history of any kind of addiction are more likely to develop some other
form of addiction. For example, someone from an alcoholic family may develop a problem with compulsive overeating
While environmental factors can also have influence, individuals who have been removed from their alcoholic
parents and raised by non addicted individuals still show a higher risk for developing an addiction themselves.
Environment: Children raised by alcoholic or drug addicted parents are more likely to view substance
abuse or certain behaviors as acceptable, making them more likely to engage in the addiction themselves.
Individuals from countries where use of a certain substance or engagement in an addictive behavior are frowned
upon or hard to obtain show a much lower incidence of addiction, pointing to possible environmental factors.
Abuse: Individuals who experienced sexual, psychological, emotional or physical abuse are more likely to
become addicts. The addiction becomes a coping mechanism, helping the addict to deal with strong negative emotions
surrounding the abuse, feelings of severe low self-esteem, and possible flashbacks.
Emotional Disorders: Emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic
stress disorder often increase the risk of substance abuse and addictive behaviors, especially amongst those who
are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
Individuals often use drugs, alcohol, food, exercise, or work as a way to self-medicate and escape the symptoms
of their primary disorder.
The Substance: Certain substances are more addictive than others, and risk of full-blown addiction is
higher for drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine because of their ability to create dependence after
just a few uses.
Low Frustration Tolerance: One common factor found amongst addicts of all types is a low frustration
tolerance. Addicts are highly susceptible to the negative effects of stress, often experiencing distress at a
relatively low level of frustration. They become easily upset over everyday stress factors, creating a need for
escape. They find this escape in their addiction.
These are all contributing factors as to why addiction occurs. Overall, there is no absolute solution when
dissecting the causes behind addiction. Today, there are many options available to the alcoholic or drug addict who
wishes to stop and stay stopped.
For more information on alcohol and drug addiction, please visit: Alcohol and Drug Rehab. For information on intervention, please visit: Intervention. For testimonials on how rehab worked for them, please visit: Testimonials.
Patrick McLemore has been a recovering alcoholic and drug addict since June 6, 2005. Patrick widely known as an
expert in the field of addictions, he has not only studied the topic extensively, but has lived it.
Patrick has worked with the Manor House Recovery Center for over two years. During that time he has been
instrumental in the recovery and continued sobriety of numerous recovering alcoholic and drug addicts.
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