Anti-substance abuse campaigns are widespread. Virtually everyone should know by now that drug or alcohol abuse has serious consequences, and not just of a legal sort. So why do some people throw logic to the wind and try drugs or alcohol regardless? The answer is complicated, but in the face of certain motivators like anxiety or stress, substance abuse becomes a more likely outcome. Many people also underestimate the power of addiction and think they can get away with “just giving it a try.” From there, it’s a slippery slope. Here are 5 major reasons why people start to abuse drugs and alcohol:
- A need to relax. Stress and substance abuse go hand-in-hand. Some drugs are known for their sedative effects, providing a deep feeling of relaxation. When someone struggles with insomnia or is unbearably stressed due to their career, relationships or other circumstances, they may be desperate for relief. Even if that relief is temporary or comes with a price, stress and anxiety can drive people to make extreme choices.
- Curiosity. Drug and alcohol use is portrayed in pop culture all the time. People we idolize drink and take drugs. Movie scenes and song lyrics make it seem fun, and we get the impression we might be missing out on something. And if we get the chance to try a drug or alcohol, we might seize the moment, not realizing just how quickly an addiction can take hold.
- Peer pressure. This reason is commonly associated with teenagers, who are highly motivated by a desire to fit in, to belong or to seem cool. But even adults may find themselves in circumstances where friends, family members or co-workers pressure them to “not be so prude” and to drink or use drugs.
- Accidental addiction. Prescription drug addiction is one example of an innocent objective (pain relief) gone awry. Prescription drugs can be very powerful, and even careful use of them can lead to addiction. In some cases, users who become heavily addicted to opioid painkillers will turn to heroin, which is cheaper than prescription pain killers but is another opioid and, therefore, gives the same effect.
- A need for energy. Some drugs relax users, while others energize them. People struggling with chronic fatigue or poor concentration may start to abuse drugs in an attempt to perk themselves up. They are often concerned with improving their productivity at work, but drug use is actually notorious for interfering with careers and finances.
If you or someone you know has already begun to abuse drugs or alcohol, help through inpatient rehab or an outpatient program is available. The sooner you kick the habit, the easier it will be to keep it at bay. Call today for a confidential consultation.