We all know that addiction is an incredibly complex disease, however, some people still wonder what causes this problem. This is a valid question but it is also one with a complex answer.
There are a number of different factors that can cause and trigger someone’s addiction, everything from biological changes, family history, environmental factors, and more can all contribute to this problem.
As we know from ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, there are many environmental factors that can influence someone’s drug-seeking behavior and may be the reason that they begin using in the first place. However, there are other factors that can be what causes people to keep going back.
Family history of addiction and genetics are two of the most common reasons that people continue to use drugs, it can be a genetic predisposition to keep using these substances to the point where it becomes a dependency and a full-blown addiction problem.
Certain variations in genes have been studied as increased risk factors for opioid addiction, and other addiction problems. Some of these genes can play a role in the way that neurotransmitters interact and can affect how some people’s bodies and minds may be influenced by drugs and alcohol.
Along with these genetic factors, there are certain biological and neurological changes that occur during drug or alcohol use that can cause people to keep using. For instance, regular drug or alcohol use is something that can impact the reward circuit in the brain making it hard to feel pleasure from other stimuli besides those respective substances.
Moreover, it can also affect portions of the brain involved in stress and anxiety management and can cause people to feel these problems when they are not exposed to these drugs. This can lead to obvious withdrawal-related problems and cause people to continue to use drugs in order to escape these uncomfortable symptoms.
Obviously, there are a lot of factors that can influence and cause someone’s addiction and it is something that changes from person-to-person.
Despite how dangerous and cyclical this problem can become, there are treatment options available to help people and drug and alcohol addiction is something that is treatable. With that said, there is no silver bullet for treatment, it will take a number of different forms of treatment to help someone. And even after getting sober, people will always be at risk for relapse and become addicted once more.
However, with the help of treatment centers or rehab, patients will develop methods and strategies that they can implement and look for to help them not only get sober but stay sober long-term.