There are many psychological, physical, social, and environmental factors in addiction. This is why some people struggle while others can control their alcohol or drug use. A family history of drug use, peer pressure, and easy accessibility are just some of these influencing factors.
Frequently using drugs or alcohol also paves the way for physical dependence, which is a big part of addiction. Physical dependence means you must continue using your substances in order to avoid the ill effects of withdrawal. The prospect of discomfort locks many people into substance abuse when they would rather have a healthier life.
Many scientists believe addiction is genetic. Others believe the condition is more psychological than genetic. Indeed, genes are responsible for about half of a person’s risk for alcohol addiction. Researchers are actually looking for the “addiction gene.”
Research also shows that mental illness often goes hand-in-hand with addiction. About half of people with mental health issues also abuse drugs or alcohol. This is an attempt to “self-medicate” their mental illness and smooth out the rough edges of daily challenges.
Many men use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. For instance, they may attempt to cope with past trauma by drinking or using drugs. In the long term, this only makes both the mental illness and addiction worse. Self-medication is a clear sign that you need drug addiction therapy.