By: Shannon Persad
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What Are the Leading Causes of Addiction?
Every day we hear about the opioid epidemic, alcohol abuse, or the abuse of illicit drugs. One must wonder, what can cause this, and who are the ones suffering from addiction?
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a study with statistics showing the percentage of those addicted. The table shows the age, gender, and what substance they are abusing.
For example, we can see that the age group 18 to 25 is the highest group to abuse illicit drugs, while 26 to 34 are the highest to abuse alcohol. To view the whole table, click here.
No one knows the sure what can cause someone to start abusing drugs, but there are several factors that can contribute to an addiction.
Factors That May Lead to an Addiction
- Peer pressure – Some people may fall under pressure from their friends to do drugs, especially drinking alcohol at social events. Young adults are prone to peer pressure more than adults, especially high school and college students.
- Mass media – Songs these days are not hiding the use of drugs, even prescription drugs such as Percocet have made the radio. Social media is unfiltered, where celebrities and regular people are openly displaying their drug use. Television portrays many illicit drugs as well. Unfortunately, young adults and children are also most affected by the media.
- Mental health—If someone is suffering from a mental disorder, they are more than likely to be addicted to drugs. Whether it’s alcohol to curb their anxiety, or opioids to compensate for depression, it is a leading factor for addiction.
- Environment—If your friends are drug addicts, more than likely you’ll be a drug addict too. Pressure from finances, relationships, and work can lead to drug addiction as well.
- Genetics—Certain genes can affect a person. For instance, if alcoholism runs in the family, it is possible to have a predisposition and be at risk for alcoholism.
- Childhood trauma—The CDC has claimed that “adverse childhood experiences”, also called ACEs, has lead to an increase in drug abuse, and may continue into adulthood.
While there are several factors that can contribute to a substance abuse addiction, it is also possible to break the cycle of addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a substance abuse addiction, seek professional help now.