The many causes of addiction can be difficult to pinpoint because there are so many. Plus, since everyone is different, what affects one person doesn’t always affect another, so it can be difficult to understand what might cause a person to begin abusing substances or alcohol in the first place.
However, there are some situations that can send a person into a cycle of abusing substances or alcohol to numb negative feelings, and these are situations that loved ones can spot:
- When a person is suffering from grief, they often don’t know how to cope with it. It is common to get “stuck” in these feelings and the process. When a person is unable to properly cope with a loss, they can become depressed. This is when it’s important to note if a loved one is abusing substances or alcohol, so you can help stop an addiction from forming.
- Traumatic events. Traumatic events are often really hard for people to process. In many cases, those who experience traumatic events choose to put it anywhere but at the front of their thoughts. As a way to cope with these events and the feelings behind them, many people being to abuse alcohol or substances.
- Too much of a good thing. This is one of the many causes of addiction that throw people off, but it’s also one of the ones that catches people by surprise. Sometimes, people don’t really have a good reason to abuse substances or alcohol, other than the fact that it’s simply fun. Over time, enjoying getting high or drunk too often leads to more and more use – and abuse – and that can cause you to develop a physical dependence, and then an addiction.
- Medical need. Sometimes, the things that people develop an addiction to are a medical need. Maybe it’s a way to lose weight, maybe it’s a way to ease pain. No matter what, if you’re taking many different types of prescription medications for too long, or you take more than prescribed, you’re at risk for developing a physical dependence, and then an addiction. If you’re worried that you’re not taking your medications as prescribed, it’s time to talk to your prescribing doctor.
The many causes of addiction can often boil down to just a few roots. When you can spot them in a loved one – or even yourself – you may just find that you’re able to stop an addiction before it forms.