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Cause of Drug Addiction
cause-addiction.gifThe Downward Spiral

No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic, but this doesn't stop people from getting addicted. The most commonly asked question is simply - how? How could my son, daughter, father, sister, or brother become a liar, a thief, someone who cannot be trusted? How could this happen? And why won't they stop?

The first thing you must understand about addiction is that alcohol and addictive drugs are basically painkillers. They chemically kill physical or emotional pain and alter the mind's perception of reality. They make people numb. For drugs to be attractive to a person there must first be some underlying unhappiness, sense of hopelessness, or physical pain.

The Cycle of Addiction

Drug Addiction Follows A "Life Cycle"

The life cycle of addiction begins with a problem, discomfort or some form of emotional or physical pain a person is experiencing. They find this very difficult to deal with. We start off with an individual who is basically good. This person encounters a problem or discomfort that they do not know how to resolve or cannot confront. This could include problems such as difficulty "fitting in" as a child or teenager, anxiety due to peer pressure or work expectations, identity problems or divorce as an adult.

It can also include physical discomfort, such as an injury or chronic pain. The person experiencing the discomfort has a real problem. He feels his present situation is unendurable, yet sees no good solution to the problem. Everyone has experienced this in life to a greater or lesser degree. The difference between an addict and the non-addict is that the addict chooses drugs or alcohol as a solution to the unwanted problem or discomfort.

Drugs And Problems

This person tries drugs or alcohol. The drugs APPEAR to solve his problem. He feels better. Because he now SEEMS better able to deal with life, the drugs become valuable to him. The painkilling effects of drugs or alcohol become a
solution to their discomfort. Inadvertently the drug or alcohol now becomes valuable because it helped them feel better.

This release is the main reason a person uses drugs or drinks a second or third time. It is just a matter of time before he becomes fully addicted and loses the ability to control his drug use. Drug addiction, then, results from excessive or continued use of physiologically habit-forming drugs in an attempt to resolve the underlying symptoms of discomfort or

The Addiction Progresses

Analogous to an adolescent child in his first love affair, the use of drugs or alcohol becomes obsessive. The addicted person is trapped. Whatever problem he was initially trying to solve by using drugs or alcohol fades from memory. At this point, all he can think about is getting and using drugs. He loses the ability to control his usage and disregards the horrible consequences of his actions.
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