Woman thinking about the biggest factors of addiction

Why is it some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol and others don't? The answer may be linked to the causes and risk factors of addiction. Regardless of how it happens, addiction therapy programs can assist in your recovery. Call us today at 866.957.7885 to learn more.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction also referred to as a substance use disorder (SUD). It is a complex brain disease that can affect anyone. In 2019, an estimated 20 million people in the US aged 12 or older had a SUD. Those impacted were men and women from different races, ethnicity, economic, and social status.

Addiction is not a sign of weakness and it affects more than just the person who struggles with drug abuse. It can have a serious impact on family and friends.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior regardless of the consequences. It can cause physical, mental, and social problems if left untreated. People with addiction are unable to control their drug use despite the negative impacts it has on them and those around them.

It’s important to note that not everyone who uses drugs will become addicted. However, an individual’s risk of addiction can depend on factors such as genetics, environment, mental health, and access to treatment.

Common Causes of Addiction

Scientists are still relentlessly pursuing a comprehensive understanding of the intricate causes that underlie addiction. Among the many factors that exert a profound influence on this complex disease, a few stand out:

Prolonged Substance Use or Abuse

When indulging in addictive substances over an extended period, the brain undergoes profound changes in its chemical systems and intricate circuits. This transformative process can lead individuals to believe that their survival hinges on the continued consumption of the addictive substance.

Psychological Dependence

At the heart of addiction lies a profound alteration in the brain's dopamine system. This rewiring causes the brain to develop an intense reliance on the substance of choice, driven by the irresistible allure of the euphoric reward it confers. The resulting dependence perpetuates a seemingly unbreakable cycle of cravings and consumption.

Physical Dependence

For those ensnared by the clutches of alcohol or drug addiction, physical dependence can become an overwhelming obstacle to recovery. Physical withdrawal symptoms, ranging from debilitating nausea and vomiting to distressing bouts of diarrhea, manifest when attempts to quit or reduce substance use are made. These unpleasant experiences often serve as discouraging deterrents, further entrenching individuals in the throes of addiction.

3 Top Factors of Addiction

A range of factors, including early use, type of substance, and method of use, can influence a person's risk of SUD. Nevertheless, studies identified the following as three leading factors of addiction.

1. Genetics

Traits passed on by family members through genes play a significant role in the potential for future substance abuse. Scientific evidence suggests that people whose relatives have or had a drinking or drug problem have an increased risk of developing a SUD. If nicotine, drugs, or alcohol abuse runs in your family, the chemical reaction these substances have on your brain is likely different from someone without a genetic link.

2. Environment

Environmental factors include lack of parental supervision in your childhood and teenage years and peer pressure. These factors raise the risk of experimentation with alcohol or drugs. Young people who suffered neglect, childhood trauma such as abuse, or are seeking acceptance from their peers may engage in substance abuse as a way to cope. The presence of drugs or alcohol within the home also allows easy access and experimentation by children, teens, and young adults.

3. Mental Health

Underlying mental health disorders make it more likely for someone to grow addicted to the prescription medication they are taking for those conditions. They may drink alcohol and upgrade to illicit drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, to self-medicate or cope with the underlying condition. If this happens, the individual is described as having co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. Common co-occurring disorders include anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dual diagnosis treatment in an inpatient or residential program may be required for recovery.

Treating Addiction at San Antonio Recovery Center

Early intervention can help prevent SUD. However, factors such as guilt and shame usually delay treatment. There is still time to recover, whether in our women's drug rehab program or men's drug rehab program. Treatment is done in a safe, structured, and non-judgmental environment while you're enrolled in one of these programs:

  • Detox program – This is the first step toward recovery. It removes all traces of drugs from your body through the use of medications and close medical monitoring.
  • Inpatient program – a residential program where you live at San Antonio Recovery Center and receive 24/7 care from our caring and knowledgeable staff members.
  • Residential program – offers in-depth treatment with daily therapy sessions, group meetings, and education classes.
  • Intensive outpatient program – for those who need treatment but cannot stay at the facility. It provides intensive outpatient group therapy and individual counseling sessions while you remain living at home.
  • 90-day rehab program – provides more long-term treatment and counseling. It allows you to focus on your recovery while living at our facility for up to 90 days.

You can benefit from a range of therapies and aftercare program services such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, trauma therapy, individual counseling, 12 step meetings, and sober living. During therapy, our therapist will help you understand how your family history, environment, traumatic experiences, or a diagnosed mental health condition influences addiction.

Get The Help You Need Today

Regardless of the factors and causes of addiction, one thing is certain: it devastates the lives of the individual affected and their family members. The professional treatment specialists at San Antonio Recovery Center are eager to assist in your healing and recovery journey starting today. Call 866.957.7885, or contact us online to speak with an admissions counselor.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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