The Causes of Substance Abuse
The causes of substance abuse are complex, but those who struggle with addiction to alcohol or drugs commonly struggle with their mental health as well. Often substance abuse can interact with mental illness, each making the other worse.
Conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia are far more prevalent in those with substance use disorders than in the general population. Mental health disorders that occur alongside addiction are known as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders can make substance use disorders more difficult to manage, and vice versa. When seeking care for alcohol or drug addiction, it’s essential to attend a treatment center that offers integrated care for substance abuse and mental illness.
The causes of substance abuse can vary from person to person, and no one really knows what precisely causes one person to start using and become addicted, while another person in similar circumstances either never feels the need to try drugs or alcohol, or experiments but is able to quit. Research indicates there are many factors that can predispose someone to addiction – genetics, personality traits, life experiences, trauma, and environmental causes, such as the availability of alcohol and drugs, poverty, difficult family conditions and peer influence.