Guy with hand on head is wondering what causes addiction and why can't he fix it himselfFor the majority of people, understanding drug addiction isn’t easy. To understand it, they have to know what causes addiction. Drug addiction is often chalked up to a lack of willpower or moral principles. People believe that if a person really wanted to, they could stop using drugs.

However, there is much more to addiction than this. It’s a complex disease that changes the chemical balance in the brain. Over time, this prevents people from living productive lives as they become slaves to their addictions.

What Causes Addiction?

Scientists believe that the answer to what causes addiction lies within the brain itself. Studies show that drugs can overstimulate the reward circuit in the brain. It does this by flooding the brain with dopamine. This is the same chemical that the brain uses for all reward or pleasure.

The increased release of dopamine causes the high that people get when taking drugs. Eventually, it takes more and more dopamine to achieve the same high. This is why people continue to increase the amount of drugs or alcohol that they use. People eventually become addicted to the high that excess dopamine creates.

However, changing the chemical balance in the brain does more than just cause addiction. Studies show that prolonged use of drugs or alcohol that affect the neurological system of the brain affect:

  • judgment
  • learning
  • decision making
  • behavior
  • memory.

Signs of Drug Abuse

People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often avoid seeking help. This leaves it up to friends and family to spot signs of drug abuse. Some signs that a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol include:

  • neglecting work, home and school responsibilities
  • continuous use of drugs despite the risks
  • getting into legal trouble as a result of using drugs
  • relationship problems because of drug use.

When loved ones show signs of abusing substances, it’s important to get help for them right away. One effective option is to hold an intervention. This is where family members can bring all of their problems to the forefront. It also forces the loved ones to deal with those problems.

Why Do Some People Become Addicted but Not Others?

This is a question that scientists have been looking to solve for a long time. However, there are some factors they believe play a role in developing an addiction. Biology or the genes that people are born with are believed to make up half of their risk for addiction. This includes their ethnicity and gender.

Of course, this isn’t the only reason why some people become addicted but not others. Another reason is the environment in which they’re raised. Factors such as sexual abuse, peer pressure and exposure to drugs all increase the likelihood of people becoming addicted to drugs.

Get the Help You Need at Steps to Recovery

The fight against addiction is a long one. Along the way, there are many chances for people in recovery to slip up. Steps to Recovery is a rehab center that focuses on involving families in the addiction battle. Located in Levittown, Pennsylvania, we create unique plans to battle addiction. No two people are the same, so no two treatment plans should be the same.

We focus on providing an intimate environment. That’s why we are pleased to provide our clients with a small staff-to-client ratio of 3-to-1. This ensures that they get the individual attention that they need. Some of the programs that we offer at Steps to Recovery include:

  • family and individual therapy
  • intensive outpatient program
  • PHP – Partial Hospitalization Program
  • intervention support
  • sober living
  • educational programs for family members.

If other centers haven’t worked for you in the past, you owe it to yourself to try Steps to Recovery. Contact us today at267.719.8528 to learn more about drug addiction and how we can help.