According to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration done in 2009, over 25.3 million people in the United States were in need of substance abuse treatment for substance abuse and addiction. But why are so many Americans dependent on drugs? Here are 5 of the reasons why men, women, and teens are pushed towards a drug dependence.
Substance Abuse and Addiction Can Be Linked to Genetics
Substance abuse and addiction is a disease, one that can be carried down from generation to generation through genetics. While it is also true that one’s surroundings, like growing up in an environment where parents suffered from addiction, may increase chances as well, genetics also play a role in increasing those chances. The mental health of an individual definitely changes their outlook on drug use, and dependency.
Environment Also Plays a Role in Drug Addiction
The environment a person is raised in lives in and continues to live in plays an enormous role in contributing to the onset of addiction. If a child grows up in an environment where a parent or both parents are using they are more likely to be curious and want to try it themselves. On the other hand, if a child is raised in an uber-strict environment where parents condemn all usage and are then introduced to drugs by friends or someone else, they may be just as curious and want to try. Any environmental or even outside force, like TV, can sway a person’s thoughts about using.
Peer Pressure – Especially for Teen Drug Abuse
When we hear this term, we automatically picture a group of high-school kids pressuring a friend at a party into hitting a joint when they don’t necessarily want to. But peer pressure doesn’t always have to be so blatantly obvious (or even yield that much pressure) to lend a hand in creating a drug addiction. If the drug is strong enough…it’s as simple as one ‘do you want to try this?’ for a slippery slope to arise in someone’s life.
Many Turn to Drugs and Alcohol for Self-medication
Some people who suffer from anxiety, depression or even pain and don’t want to go to the doctor will often choose to ‘self-medicate’ using alcohol or other substances. If someone suffers from a chronic mental illness, or chronic pain, they will often continue the use of their substance of choice, forming a drug dependency and sometimes not even recognizing it before it’s too late.
Often It Starts With Prescription Drug Abuse
It’s disturbing, but unfortunately not uncommon that people get addicted to prescription painkillers straight from their doctor’s office. For those suffering from chronic pain, a doctor will also prescribe a long-term prescription for painkillers. These pills, even though they come from a doctor, can be extremely addictive and result in withdrawals if stopped suddenly. Luckily a lot of doctors know this and will switch medications frequently to prevent drug dependency.
These are just 5 reasons that go along with more that factor into an individual developing a drug dependence. Drug dependencies can be very dangerous if not treated properly by a qualified mental health professional. If you or someone you know has developed substance abuse and addiction, make sure to seek help immediately.