Substance abuse is a major problem in today’s society. People are becoming more dependent on a substance every day. It may be alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs. Unfortunately, the amount of people who suffer from dependence and struggle with substance abuse is overwhelming. But, there are many reasons why people deal with these issues. Every individual deals with life’s situations differently. Sadly, one of the ways people deal with those problems is substance abuse. Fortunately, recovery is possible through treatment and therapy. It’s important to know about different causes of substance abuse in order to get the right kind of help.
The Definition of Substance Abuse
Many times, people who have become dependent on a substance don’t even know it. Often, they aren’t sure how or when it happened. This is mainly because substance abuse doesn’t begin overnight. People don’t become dependent on drugs or alcohol after consuming them once. Dependence forms over time. It happens because the individual has used the substance over and over again. When a person becomes physically dependent, it means that her body has learned to function under the influence of that substance. It’s as if she can’t function without it.
As a person become dependent on a substance, she may begin to abuse it. “Abuse” does not really mean that the person is doing something harmful on purpose. It’s not usually intentional. Substance abuse is the act of using a drug or alcohol outside of its intended use. This is especially seen in cases where people have become dependent on a prescription. For example, a person who has chronic pain may have prescription drugs. The prescription might help them to manage the pain. But, the medication is often really strong. People take medication because it works. It helps them to get away from the pain. But, this result is actually one of the causes of substance abuse. The person might start taking more medicine than the doctor has prescribed. Or, she may take medicine when she’s not in pain, “just in case”.
Identifying Causes of Substance Abuse
We’ve already talked about one of the causes of substance abuse. But, now, let’s discuss some other possible reasons why people may start to misuse drugs or alcohol.
Peer Pressure: People often think of peer pressure as something that causes school children to misbehave. But, this kind of pressure affects people of all ages. And, it’s often one of the causes on substance abuse. Friends, family members, coworkers, or other people can encourage people to take drugs or drink more than they should. The groups around us can influence us to do something that we might not have done otherwise.
Grief: Life gives us many reasons to grieve. We might lose a loved one. Grief comes in different forms and people respond to it differently. Sometimes, a person may take a drink to help her deal with loss. Unfortunately, that kind of activity can lead to substance abuse.
Depression: Just like grief, ways of coping with depression vary. Sometimes, people use medication for it. But, they may begin to misuse it.
Experimentation: This might be something that occurs in younger people. But, older adults can deal with this, too. It’s common for people to “try things out” when they’re looking for a little excitement. A person might decide to try a certain drug, just for the sake of experimenting. Although it seems like an innocent case of curiosity, it’s one of the many causes of substance abuse.
Fighting Substance Dependency and Abuse
Here at Willow Place for Women, we know that there are different causes of substance abuse. We understand that every individual is unique. Everyone who fights substance dependency is different and has different needs. So, we provide various treatment methods. It’s our mission to see women totally free from substance abuse. That’s why we offer programs that will directly address specific problems. If you know a woman who needs assistance in dealing with dependence, contact us today.