What Causes Addiction? The Facts Revealed

Written By Alla Levin
January 20, 2019
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The Truth About Addiction: The Facts Revealed

Many people mistakenly believe drug or alcohol addiction is a conscious choice. Research shows there’s so much more to what causes addiction than that.

Keep reading to learn more about what causes addiction and ways to help those who have one.

What Causes Addiction? Is It in Your Genes?

Studies have helped combat the stigma of addictions by showing a direct and significant connection between one’s genetic makeup and a person’s propensity to become addicted.

Whether it’s an addiction to food, technology, alcohol, or other substances, genes can play some part. The weight of genetics in each situation can be difficult to measure. Each will have elements of their environment that have an overwhelming influence.

Individual biology and genetics are one factor, but there are others to consider as well.

When in Rome…

Some environments are practically breeding grounds for addictions. There’s not one particular thing that guarantees someone will develop a problem. There are some common environmental factors among those who do.

Early Childhood Coping Skillschildhood family relationships

Early childhood family relationships and interactions are a recognized factor in whether someone turns to substances or other addictions as a coping mechanism.

More than a thousand medical articles were reviewed and the results showed early childhood stress directly correlated with addictions later in life.

Upbringing and Societal View

The religious, moral, and community view on drugs, alcohol, or another subject can have an effect on whether someone tries a substance to begin with.

Those who grow up surrounded by social drinking and with alcohol or drugs as a part of everyday life will see it as a normal activity to do and be more likely to try it earlier.

Present Day Friends and Family

One’s peer group and family is a strong contributing factor to developing addictions. This is especially true for adolescent males, though it does play a role for all demographics.

Peer pressure or the associations in one’s life influence whether it’s socially acceptable to binge drink or use recreational drugs.

Addicts may be in recovery sooner when they have friends and family who hold an intervention or encourage a loved one to seek treatment from someplace like www.changingtidesobx.com.

Sports and Communityrisk of increased alcohol consumption

Adolescents and young adults who participate in sports have a risk of increased alcohol consumption. This is the opposite effect of those who take up a recreational activity that is more focused on the arts.

People who perform a great deal of service or have a strong support network and sense of community are less likely to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

This isn’t to say if you go to community events you’ll never get an addiction. It just means if you’re surrounded by drinking you’re more likely to drink. Find other things to be passionate about and you’ll focus on that.


Many times someone with an addiction is trying to self medicate their pain, whether it is physical or mental. A majority of those struggling with addiction have also faced trauma and/or other mental illnesses. Others have dealt with chronic physical pain.

Stress and Self-Esteem

Stress, depression, and low self-esteem can be one of the myriads of reasons someone may struggle with addiction. This is really just another way of self-medicating one’s anxiety or other emotions.

There Is Hope

It doesn’t matter how many causes for addiction someone has: there is always hope for recovery. To learn more about overcoming addiction and other lifestyle topics check out our lifestyles blog section today.

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