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How Do Addictions Start and What Causes Them?

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 25 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
Addiction; Stress; Environmental Issues;

This subject has provoked many debates among experts and the general conclusion has always found a selection of possible answers. It is agreed that there is not one singular component that can be attributed to an addiction beginning.Most individuals have their own explanations for why they have become dependent on something though sometimes the cause is never known nor understood.

How Do They Start?

Many activities that lead to addiction can be triggered by something as simple as a social event; this may be trying alcohol, the first experimentation with cannabis, a one night stand, or any of the other substances or activities that people become addicted to.

A person may become psychologically or physically dependent on a prescribed drug that was initially given for legitimate reasons. They may be scared of the withdrawal or coping with everyday life without it; this is especially true for pain relief and anti-depressants.

Experimentation and peer pressure explain why many individuals try substances for the first time, with items such as tobacco, cocaine and heroine. In other circumstances, or with a different circle of friends, some of these addictions may never have started.

The psychological ‘high’ experienced from certain activities may cause the person to crave the feeling again, emotions such as those felt when making a new purchase, winning a bet or sleeping with someone new can excite the senses and trigger a yearning.

Causes Of Addiction

Genetic disposition has been explored as a legitimate reason for an addiction, and though most experts agree that it has some credibility, there is no conclusive evidence that this is so.

Peer pressure is highly accountable for triggering an addiction and many smokers apportion this with the blame for their addiction.

The environment in which we grow up and are exposed to may be answerable for some addictions; continuous exposure to alcohol and heavy drinkers, might be experienced through living above a pub and may permit this addiction to seem easily accessible and exempt of blame or title.

Many people blame their addiction as a way of managing stress; it is easy to excuse a few drinks after work as a way of relieving troubles but for how long and to what volume can stress take the blame?

A person’s self-esteem and body image may have a role to play in addiction; those whom are overly enthusiastic about diet and exercise (particularly those suffering with anorexia), may have started their addictive behaviour as a result of low or altered body image.

The chemistry of the brain is accountable for many addictions as the receptors in the brain can cause the individuals to crave a substance such as heroine, and gaining control over these cravings can be a very difficult struggle.Personality can take a part in addiction as many people simply have the type of personality that becomes addicted to something.

For many people suffering from an addiction, the cause is never known though it is important to discover the root of the problem hence the cause before an effective plan of care is prepared.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I'm a suffering cocaine addict. I've suffered mental health issues, depression and addiction for 16 years now !I've been into treatment already this year and managed to stay abstinent for 110 days although I felt I was clinging on the entire time and filled with fear of relapse. I relapsed, since my relapse I have used constantly for 16 weeks daily, I didn't really take to group therepy in treatment and I was wondering is there any other ways other than group therepy that will help free me from my obsession to use and give me peace and serenity? The thought of going into another treatment centre and being in group therepy is preventing me from attempting recovery.There must be another option more suited to me as I didn't get it and constantly fought against the process of group work
Synyster Gates - 25-Nov-18 @ 3:02 PM
Caz - Your Question:
I've very addicted to codeine, despite going through withdrawals many times- all cold turkey & all on my own. Knowing how hard the withdrawals are, why did I start taking them even though I said "never again". I'm too scared to come off them now, because of the panic attacks etc. I just want to stop I could cry. Help me.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this and it sounds as though you may need some background support in order to help you come off again. Sometimes, the fear of the fear, or anticipatory anxiety, is worse than the actual situation itself. You have done it before and on your own, which is very brave and surely means you are strong enough to do it again. Reducing your intake gradually is always better than an immediate withdrawal. I suggest you also join a support group that will help you through this tough time. You can contact TALK TO FRANK here which will tell you where you can get some support near you. I hope this helps.
BeatingAddictions - 8-Feb-16 @ 12:29 PM
I've very addicted to codeine, despite going through withdrawals many times- all cold turkey & all on my own. Knowing how hard the withdrawals are, why did I start taking them even though I said "never again". I'm too scared to come off them now, because of the panic attacks etc. I just want to stop I could cry. Help me.
Caz - 7-Feb-16 @ 5:32 PM
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