Those who drink alcohol in moderation and who would never dream of taking drugs might wonder why anyone would abuse such substances. The truth is that nobody chooses to become an addict. Many people around the world drink too much alcohol but who do not believe themselves to be alcoholics. Likewise, countless individuals abuse prescription medications but are unaware that they are slowly developing a tolerance to these drugs; a tolerance that could lead to addiction.
Substance abuse is not often a deliberate act; many do not realise that they are causing harm to themselves by misusing certain substances. Prescription medication is often taken in higher frequencies by patients who are completely unaware of the dangers of doing so.
Those who drink alcohol may be gradually upping their intake without even noticing; that one glass of wine with dinner has now become half a bottle. With time, that half bottle may become a full bottle, and so on.
When an individuals use of a particular substance begins to cause harm in his or her life, it can be classed as substance abuse. Repeated use of a substance despite knowing that this will cause negative consequences is moving into the realms of addiction.
Why Do People Abuse Substances?
While some people do not even realise they can be classed as substance abusers, others deliberately turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs for a variety of reasons. Those who begin abusing alcohol or drugs at a young age tend to do so because of peer pressure or boredom. Teenagers often dabble with these substances because their friends are doing so or because there is nothing else for them to do and it seems like fun.
Adults who start abusing substances may be doing so as a way to cope with a traumatic situation or to block out particularly painful memories. Maybe they were abused as a child or have suffered because of the death of a loved one.
For some individuals, alcohol or drug use was a normal part of growing up and they just follow in the footsteps of another family member.
No single cause can be attributed to why people abuse substances, but there are a number of factors that will make it more likely for one person to abuse drugs or alcohol than another. For example, research has shown that those who grow up in households where alcohol or drug abuse was the norm will be much more likely to develop addictions themselves when they get older.
People from a less well-off neighbourhood may also be at higher risk of abusing alcohol or drugs because they have fewer opportunities than those from more affluent areas. Living in an area where crime rates and drug use are high can also lead individuals to abuse substances.
Medicating with drugs and alcohol is common among those who are dealing with difficult situations in life. Mood-altering substances including illegal and prescription drugs as well as alcohol can often provide temporary relief and can help people to forget about their problems for a while. However, the more they abuse these substances, the more likely they are to develop an addiction, which means they will now have the original problem plus a devastating addiction to deal with.
It is paramount that those who are suffering from addiction get the help they need as soon as possible. Addiction is a progressive illness that will continue to get worse without treatment. Contact us here at Rehab Helper for advice and support about the next steps you should take on the road to recovery. Our team of expert counsellors and therapists are ready to take your call today.