There are many reasons why people abuse either drugs or alcohol or both.

1. People who suffer from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or other mental illnesses use drugs and alcohol, thinking it will help to ease their suffering.

Mental illness is a burden for some people they will try just about anything to relieve the pain.

Drug or alcohol use can temporarily make the person feel ‘normal’ again.

Mental illness can be scary for the individual who experiences it. They are afraid to go to a doctor or family member for help.

They turn to drugs or alcohol to try to solve the problem on their own.

2. People see some family members, friends, role models or entertainers, or sports figures using drugs and rationalize that they can too.

Teenagers and young adults think that drug and alcohol use can be handled and controlled, especially if they see others they know doing the same thing.

Entertainment or 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 very big factor in drug abuse in teens and young adults.

They generally do not have bills, jobs, or any of the stresses that go along with adulthood. So it’s easier to become bored and want to try something new and exciting.

4. People think drugs will help relieve stress.

Our modern world is full of new 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. Although drugs can be very effective at doing that, there can be serious side effects.

5. People assume 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 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 get hooked on prescribed drugs.

The people at risk for this are physical laborers, athletes, the elderly, and anyone with pre-existing injuries.

Some people are born with chronic pain due to deformities – others get injured.

Doctors prescribe drugs for what they are intended for and a person can quickly build a dependency.

7. People use drugs to cover painful memories of 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.

8. People think drugs will help them fit in.

People 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.

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