What Are 5 Underlying Reasons for Addiction?
Addiction always stems from a root cause, also known as one of the reasons for addiction. It is extremely important to treat both the root cause of the addiction in addition to treating the physical addiction itself.
Staying sober involves much more than just detoxing from drugs or alcohol and abstaining from them in the future. It also involves finding the underlying reasons for the addiction and treating that as well, so that it does not exacerbate the addiction in the future. This is why so many people fail when they attempt to quit using drugs or alcohol cold turkey.
While there can be many underlying reasons for addiction, the 5 most common root causes are trauma, co-occurring disorders, genetic predisposition, sexual and gender issues, and being prescribed addictive medication. Someone suffering from addiction can experience one root cause, or they can experience many.
When someone experiences a traumatic event, it can cause a domino effect of changes to the brain. One of these changes can include addiction. A traumatic event can include such things as a terrible car accident, the death of a loved one, combat, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, or some type of abuse or neglect occurring during childhood.
Trauma can cause someone to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can cause many feelings of depression and anxiety and can lead to addiction or suicide. Trauma experienced during childhood can cause extremely high levels of stress in young people, which can permanently alter their brain growth and chemistry. That is why so many people with issues during their childhood can suffer from addiction issues.
A co-occurring mental health disorder is one of the biggest underlying reasons for addiction. These co-occurring disorders can either be diagnosed or undiagnosed. Some mental health disorders that can lead to addiction include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
People often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in order to stop or suppress the negative thoughts or emotions that come with their co-occurring disorder. While the temporary euphoric feelings of drug and alcohol can offer a short relief from these, it only makes the co-occurring disorder worse in the long run. This is because some of the side effects of drug and alcohol use include anxiety and depression. So, when additional anxiety and depression is coupled with existing anxiety and depression, it can cause damaging effects.
A family history of drug or alcohol abuse can make someone more likely to use drugs or alcohol. This is especially true if a child grew up with someone suffering from addiction in the home. This is because the use of drugs or alcohol has become normalized to them, so they are less afraid to experiment with them. In addition, negative coping skills can be learned. A child who grows up always seeing their parent turn to drugs or alcohol to feel better may try to search for the same coping skills in the future.
Sexual and Gender Issues
People who suffer from sexual and gender issues may feel extremely low self-esteem due to the stigma surrounding their thoughts and feelings. This shame, guilt, and extreme confusion may cause someone to use drugs or alcohol to excess in order to cope with these feelings. Drugs and alcohol can also give someone a boost of energy and false confidence, giving them an “excuse” to experiment with their thoughts and feelings instead of doing so in a healthy, positive way.
Many people who suffer from a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety or depression, may be prescribed prescription medication in order to handle their mental health symptoms. While these medications can be a very helpful tool in the short-term, someone who may be extremely well-intentioned in getting relief for their symptoms can start to suffer from addiction quickly.
In addition, people who experience a painful injury, surgery or some other type of chronic pain may be prescribed painkillers in order to recover more comfortably. These medications are also addictive and can lead to issues with addiction if not used under the proper medical supervision.
About Cliffside Malibu
No matter what the underlying reasons for the addiction are that you may be suffering from, you can overcome them. Addiction is a treatable condition, as are many of the underlying causes of it. Through dual diagnosis treatment, you will be able to receive treatment for both your addiction and the underlying cause. You will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of your underlying cause, as well as ways to navigate life using positive coping skills.
Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for each and every client. Treatment plans are created based on a client’s current stage of the Transtheoretical Model: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, or Maintenance. This model helps ensure that all patients receive the best treatment path possible based on their own specific need. Moving our clients through this model to completion successfully is our goal each and every single day.
Cliffside Malibu’s policy is to ensure that all people who choose treatment with us receive the best care possible. We strive to provide a continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Our program includes not only evidence-based behavioral therapy but family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are designed and structured to be a supportive environment in order to maintain sobriety.
In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, to meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.
For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com