1. People suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or other mental illnesses use drugs and alcohol to ease their suffering.
Mental illness is such a burden for some people they will try just about anything to relieve the pain. Drugs or alcohol can temporarily make that person feel ‘normal’ again, like they remember feeling in the past. Mental illness is scary for the individual experiencing it, so they are afraid to go to a doctor or family member for help and instead turn to drugs or alcohol to try and solve the problem on their own.
2. People see family members, friends, role models or entertainers using drugs and rationalize that they can too.
As teenagers and young adults, it’s very easy to think that drug and alcohol use can be handled and controlled, especially if they see others they know doing the same thing. It can become easy to rationalize like: ‘hey my friend’s been doing this for a couple years and he seems fine to me.’ Entertainment and music is full of drug references and that can add to the rationalization that drug use is OK sometimes. Individuals with a family history of drug or alcohol abuse are far more likely to develop an addiction than an individual with no family background of addiction.
3. People become bored and think drugs will help.
Boredom is a big factor in drug abuse in teens and young adults. People in this age bracket generally don’t have bills, jobs and all the stresses that go along with adulthood. So it’s easier to become bored and want to try something new and exciting. Drug use is often thought of as a way to escape the mundane world and enter an altered reality.
4. People think drugs will help relieve stress.
Our modern world is full of new strains and stresses that humans have never experienced in the past. Although many things in life are now easier than ever, the burdens are also very high. Simply having a family, maintaining a household, and holding a job are huge stress factors. Some drugs are viewed as a means of relaxation – a way to calm the storm in your mind. Although drugs can be very effective at doing that, there can be serious side effects.
5. People figure if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it must be ok.
It is easy for an individual to rationalize using a drug because it came from a doctor. The thinking goes like this ‘it was prescribed to someone I know for the same problem I am having, so it makes sense it should work for me too.’ The dangerous part about this rationalization is that this can lead to mixing of drugs, overdose, unintended side effects and/or dependency.
6. People get physically injured and unintentionally get hooked on prescribed drugs.
The people at risk for this are physical laborers, elderly, and anyone with pre-existing injuries. Some people are born with chronic pain due to deformities – others get injured. Doctors then prescribe drugs for what they are intended for and a person can quickly build a dependency. Especially if that drug is making them feel all better, they rationalize that it must be OK to keep taking the drug, which can result in dependency.
7. People use drugs to cover painful memories in their past.
Many people go through extremely traumatic events in their life, many times as children, and turn to drugs to cover the horrible memories. Children are extremely susceptible to trauma, whether physically or emotionally, and those feelings can haunt them into their adulthood. These people could benefit from working with psychologists to help repair their damaged mind. Drugs usually only deepen the issue.
8. People think drugs will help them fit in.
When hanging out with friends, it’s easy for people to want to fit in and seem like one of the crew. If others are drinking or doing drugs, it’s very likely for someone to fall into that trap. Peer pressure can be a tremendous force causing someone to try things they would normally not try on their own.
9. People chase the high they once experienced.
Ask anyone who has tried drugs and they will tell you that it is one of the best feelings of their life. The highs from drugs are so much more extreme than regular everyday joys because most drugs overload the pleasure sensors in your brain. Once a person feels this extreme pleasure, it’s common for that person to become hooked on a drug simply chasing the initial high they once felt. As we all know, this is a vicious cycle that is extremely difficult to break. The highs are equally as powerful as the lows felt when coming off of the drugs.