Common Causes of Addiction

Common Causes of Addiction
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When you face a substance abuse addiction, it’s important to realize the causes of addiction as you seek treatment to lead a sober life. This will help in the recovery process because you can better understand the underlying reasons and address the concerns that come along with them.

Substance abuse is prevalent in our society, with statistics showing that more than 23 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. 1 While the factors leading up to everyone’s addiction will vary, there are common causes of addiction that many dealing with substance abuse face. Let’s look at what some of these are and how you can seek the proper treatment.

Stress and Addiction

Stress is one of the most common factors that play a role in turning to drugs or alcohol. When people feel stressed, they look for ways to relax, and they think that drugs and alcohol are the ways to do that. What may start as a one-time use can quickly turn into a habit and addiction. When stress plays a major role in life, there are healthy ways to relieve it, such as exercise, meditation, or even talking with a friend.

Family Circumstances

People who grew up around adults who abused drugs or alcohol may be more likely to use themselves.2 Abuse or neglect can also be contributing factors to a person using substances. Other people may turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to gain attention that they’re not getting at home. They may think that using drugs will get them the attention they crave, but doing so is only hurting them.

Mental Illness

Many people battling a substance abuse disorder also have an underlying mental illness. This can be in depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, or other mental health illnesses. When people are diagnosed with a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder, it is a dual diagnosis.3 It is important to treat both if a patient is seeking a full recovery.

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Peer Pressure

While we may associate peer pressure with teens and young adults, people of all ages may find themselves feeling pressured to use drugs and alcohol. If you are in a setting where everyone is using, you may feel like you need to do the same to fit in. When people begin using substances with others, they may escalate their use to keep up with other people, especially when there is no one to stop them.

Traumatic Experiences

Traumatic experiences can lead people down paths they would have never encountered. A traumatic experience can leave you feeling scared and looking for ways to ease the pain. This can lead to addiction because people often look for more of the substance to forget the pain.

Seeking professional therapy is a better way to deal with traumatic experiences. This setting allows you to talk about what is bothering you and deal with it, rather than turning to drugs and alcohol.

Cravings and Triggers

What may start as having one drink can turn into a craving for more when your body begins to want more to get the desired feeling. These cravings for alcohol or drugs can quickly lead to an abusive pattern.

Some triggers can also lead a person down a path of a substance abuse disorder. These triggers can include people, places, and circumstances that make someone want to abuse drugs or alcohol.

Dealing with the Causes of Addiction at Clear Life Recovery

At Clear Life Recovery, we help people deal with their addiction and the causes that lead them there. Many people don’t realize the underlying factors and may make the same mistakes that prevent them from living a sober life.

When patients come to us, we customize a plan for each person. Everyone’s addiction is different, as well as what leads them to it. For more information on the programs we offer at Clear Life Recovery, contact us online.



[1] New Data Show Millions of Americans with Alcohol and Drug Addiction Could Benefit from Health Care Reform – Partnership to End Addiction (,

[2] Substance use disorder: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia,

[3] Dual Diagnosis: MedlinePlus,