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Understanding Addiction and its Underlying Causes

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There is nothing simple about addiction. It’s a complex issue that makes it difficult for so many to overcome. There are numerous contributing factors for addiction, including environment, genetics, mental health, and past situations. A person held prisoner by their substance abuse experiences an astounding number of emotions. Often, the person who is addicted struggles to understand what it is that led them to addiction.

American Addiction Centers reveals the findings of aNational Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and, according to the data, 21.5 million American adults (12 years and older) fought against the substance abuse disorder in 2014 alone. Around 80 percent of them struggled with alcohol addiction.

It is very important to find out the root causes behind this addiction as World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned about the global burden of diseases pertaining to drug and alcohol abuse. One interesting fact about addiction is that it is not the result of any one solitary but is the culmination of different factors within an individual.

Mental Illness

The existence of mental disorders is very common amongst the addicts. In fact, the National Alliance on MentalIllness has found that more than 50 percent of addicts are suffering from one or more mental disorders. Between 15 and 30 percent of drug addicts also suffer from depression. When more than one mental disorders exist simultaneously, it is referred to as the comorbid condition. In such situations, it becomes necessary to deal with all of them at once or a person may relapse.


A surprising fact was revealed by Addictions and Recovery, which states that an individual iseight times more likely to be a victim of addiction if one of their parents was an addict. According to theNational Institute onAlcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, hereditation is 50% responsible for the development of any kind of addiction in any person. The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance states that all it takes from parents is to imply that drug is no big deal and there is no need to educate them against it to promote addiction in their children.


In 1970, Bruce Alexander, a professor of psychology in Vancouver, carried out an experiment with rats, environment, and addiction. He built a rat park that included a lush cage for the rats equipped with the best rat food, colored balls, and plenty of friends. In another, he put a few rats alone in cages. He provided all of them with drugged water. Surprisingly, the rats that were leading happy lives didn’t really like the taste of the drugged water and avoided drinking it while the lonely rats became heavy users of this water.

This experiment revealed that your environment and society are responsible for your addiction. Therefore, the happier a person is, the less likely they will become an addict.

During the recovery process, relapse is common for those individuals who are suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. It is very important to treat drug abuse as a chronic illness. Research reveals that the combination of medicines and the correct application of behavioral therapy is the only way to let an addict return to a normal life. American Addiction Centers is a solution for many who need this kind of help because their professionals understand addiction and the complexity of the underlying causes that affect so many people.

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