The Various Causes of Drug Abuse

For the average drug user, the causes of drug abuse may or may not even be known. There are many potential reasons why a user may have started using drugs and why he or she continues to abuse drugs.

Often times, the causes of drug abuse differ between children or teens and adults so this too can have an impact on the overall reasons for substance abuse and for addiction itself. Some abuse drugs as a result of a need or perceived need to self-medicate while others just want to “slip away.”

For adults, the most common causes of drug abuse are:

  • Pressure at work or with family at home
  • To Relax
  • Masking emotions
  • Self-medication for an underlying medical problem or mental illness

The Various Causes of Drug Abuse

Common Causes of Teen Drug Abuse

  • Peer pressure
  • Pressures at school
  • Pressures in family
  • To feel older or “cool”

Regardless of the reasons why an individual may abuse drugs, he or she may not even realize that the drug abuse has started to spiral out of control or that it is becoming a problem. In fact, many adults and teens who abuse drugs do not even realize how negatively the use of the drugs has impacted their lives or the consequences that have already set in. Some may not have suffered any consequences yet while others may have suffered minor consequences but do not realize the dangers of additional drug abuse.

Mental illness is one of the leading causes of drug abuse in adults. Many adults use drugs to mask the effects of a mental illness and do not even realize that the illness is present. Others understand that they have a mental illness and use drugs as a means of coping with the illness. Still others may abuse drugs in an effort to overcome the mental illness or they may even abuse the drugs that are prescribed for the treatment of such illness.

For teens, the most common causes of drug abuse pertain mainly to peer pressure and a desire to be “cool.” Teens are under a lot of pressure with school, parents, beginning work, thinking about college and other teen stress factors. Many resort to the use of drugs or alcohol as a way of escaping these pressures to feel better or just to slip away for a while.

Although the causes of drug abuse differ between adults and teens, the end result if often the same—dependence and addiction that is difficult to treat. The major challenge with addiction treatment lies within the ability of the treatment professional to get to the bottom of the reasons why the user began abusing drugs in the first place and making sure that that problem never occurs again, or that the user understands how to better cope in the future.

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