Man contemplating the causes of addiction

It’s no secret that addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of Americans each year. This complex, chronic disease can have numerous negative effects on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Understanding the common causes of alcohol and drug addiction can help more people understand the factors that contribute to the development of an addiction and reduce the stigma against those who struggle with this disease. This stigma is one of the main reasons why people can be reluctant to admit they have a problem, preventing them from getting the proper treatment.

If you are ready to break free from addiction, you can contact us at San Antonio Recovery Center. We offer addiction rehab programs that are customizable to each patient’s specific needs and unique situation. We understand that recovery is a journey and not a goal, and most people with substance use disorders will have to be vigilant for the rest of their lives. However, this is a small price to pay to be free from the shackles that addiction places on a person’s future. You can learn more about our comprehensive rehab programs by calling us at 866.957.7885. Our admissions team is standing by to answer any questions you may have.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. People who are addicted to drug or alcohol use often have trouble quitting because of the intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms they experience when they try to stop. The disease alters the way the brain processes information and how it responds to certain chemicals.

Addiction can cause problems with work, school, and personal relationships and can lead to financial problems and legal troubles. However, it is treatable and manageable for many people, so long as they receive adequate support and professional treatment.

3 Common Causes of Addiction

Addiction can rarely be attributed to just one cause, as the risk factors for each individual can vary widely. Therefore, it's important to keep in mind that many of these factors will contribute to the development of an addiction.


Addiction is often thought of as a choice, but for many people, it’s not. Addiction is a disease that is caused, in part, by genetics. Just like other diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, addiction can be passed down from generation to generation. In fact, evidence suggests that people who have family members who struggle with addiction are at risk of substance use disorders themselves.

This effect is greater the closer the genetic relationship. Those with an immediate family member such as a parent, child, or sibling who struggles with substance use are much more likely to develop a similar drug or alcohol addiction.


While genetics can play a role in addiction, a person’s environment is also a major risk factor for developing substance use disorders. The more addiction is normalized and the more chances a person has to experiment with drugs or alcohol, the greater the likelihood that they may become addicted themselves. Some of the major environmental factors can include:

  • Peer pressure
  • Parental drug use
  • Community drug use
  • Abusive or neglectful home environment


Trauma can also lead to addiction and is often defined as a stressful or life-changing event. Some of the major examples of trauma include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Witnessing violence

If you’ve experienced trauma, you may be more likely to struggle with addiction. Moreover, trauma can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation, and these feelings can make it difficult to cope with life without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Start an Addiction Rehab Program at San Antonio Recovery Center

People who are battling substance use disorders can often think that their addiction is due to a personal failing or lack of willpower. That is often not the case, as there are many factors beyond their control that contribute to their addiction. It’s important not to let this stigma prevent a person from receiving the proper treatment for the disease. Many people have been able to achieve a happy, healthy life in recovery with the help of our addiction specialists at SARC.

Are you ready to begin a new, sober life? If so, we would be more than happy to assist you. Contact us at 866.957.7885 and we can begin planning out your healing and recovery journey.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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