Triggers for Addiction

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10 Common Triggers for Addiction

10 Common Triggers for Addiction at Hope Rehab Center Thailand. Why is it that some people become addicted to drugs while others manage to avoid this trap? How come some individuals can drink alcohol socially, yet others become alcoholics? Are there certain triggers that cause people to become addicted? These are the type of questions that experts and those dealing with this type of problem have been asking for years.

There are no simple explanations for why some people become addicted while others do not. It is likely to be a combination of factors rather than one specific cause, but here are 10 common triggers for addiction:

1. Poor Coping Strategies for Dealing with Stress

The demands of modern living can easily become overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools for dealing with this stress. This is a vital living skill, but it is usually not something that is taught in school. If people feel unable to manage their stress levels, it is tempting to turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to ‘switch-off’.

Using alcohol or drugs in response to excessive stress can seem to work in the beginning, but this solution is doomed to fail. This is because it involves hiding from problems rather than dealing with them. Another danger is that once you start abusing these substances, you are going to develop a tolerance, and this means you have to keep on using more and more to get the same effect.

2. Emotional, Physical, or Sexual Trauma

Emotional, physical, or sexual trauma during childhood or adulthood (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder) can leave a person vulnerable to substance abuse. This is because unless these issues are dealt with properly, the individual can experience a great deal of inner-pain. Alcohol or drugs can soothe this pain in the beginning, but this comfort comes with a heavy price.

3. Low Self-Esteem

Drugs like alcohol and cocaine can produce radical transformations for people with low self-esteem. It is common for alcoholics to describe how those early drinks made them feel far more extroverted and confident in social encounters. The problem is that substance actually robs people of their self-esteem once they start to do embarrassing or hurtful things while high. The situation is described well in the following saying:

‘Alcohol gave me wings but then it took away the sky’

4. Peer Pressure

The desire to be liked can be an incredibly powerful motivator – especially for young people. I recently had a chat with one of our clients, and he described how he was bullied mercilessly at school. He found that he could make these bullies like him if he behaved badly, so this is what he started to do. He began drinking alcohol and using drugs and this won him the approval he so desperately desired. His story of falling victim to peer pressure has been repeated millions of times, and it has led many people into addiction.

 5. Loss of Purpose in Life

A loss of purpose can leave a person vulnerable to turning to maladaptive behaviours like substance abuse. One example of how this can happen is when a person retires from work – this change in circumstances can leave a hole in the person’s life, and it can be tempting to fill this with alcohol or drugs.

6. Self-Medication

The symptoms of mental health problems like depression can often appear during the teenage years. In a lot of cases, people can be completely oblivious to the fact that there is something wrong that requires treatment – they just know that they feel better when they use alcohol or drugs. This is referred to as self-medication, and it can easily put the person on a fast-track to addiction.

7. The Prescription Medication Trap

Prescription drugs like opiates and sedatives produce side-effects that lots of people find desirable such as a sense of euphoria or deep calm. The person usually starts off taking these substances as prescribed by the physician, but there can be a strong temptation to abuse the drug in an attempt to experience the pleasant side-effects. In the beginning, it can feel like a harmless thing to do, but it means crossing the line into recreational drug abuse and all that this entails.

8. Growing up in an Environment Where Substance Abuse is Normal Behaviour

Some kids grow up in an environment where they regularly see adults drunk or high. It means this behaviour appears perfectly reasonable and normal, so it is not surprising that there is a temptation to copy it.

9. The Addictive Personality

The idea that there is an ‘addictive personality’ is hotly debated, but it is true that people who fall into this behaviour tend to share certain character traits such as:

  • A tendency to behave impulsively
  • Low resistance to stress
  • Difficulty delaying gratification – ‘I want it now’
  • The habit of doing things to seek attention – attention seeking behaviour
  • Risk taking
  • Low self-esteem
  • Admiration for rebellious behaviour
  • Insecurity in relationships
  • A feeling of being different from other people

One of the worrying implications of the addictive personality is that traits like risk-taking, attention seeking, and rebellious behaviour are often encouraged in modern society. It means the factors that make somebody a successful entrepreneur could also put them at more risk of becoming an alcoholic.

10. Genetic Triggers

It is almost certain that some people are genetically predisposed towards developing an addiction. The fact that a person has certain genes doesn’t mean that they are definitely going to fall into the substance abuse trap, but it is going to put them at more risk of developing this type of problem.

10 Common Triggers for Addiction by Paul G