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Breaking Down the Various Factors of Addiction

Addiction is rarely ever caused by simply using substances. Many complex issues factor into one turning to substances to cope with the struggles of life. It is hard to say that one event or situation in your past led you down the path of addiction. You may think it was your first drink or an undiagnosed mental health disorder. However, the odds are that your addiction can be linked to a number of causes. 

Breaking Down Addiction

Scientifically, addiction occurs when a substance affects your brain’s reward system. When you ingest substances, your brain releases dopamine, creating positive and euphoric feelings beyond what you get from healthy behaviors like exercise or sending time with loved ones. This trick of your brain convinces you that those positive feelings are due to substance use. However, the brain and physical aspects of addiction are not the only causes. 

Numerous external factors influence your addiction from your childhood to beyond. Everything from your genes to your parents, friendships, and relationships can play a role in causing your addiction. The cause of your addiction very likely isn’t one thing but can be a combination of the following:

  • Genetics
  • Trauma or traumatic childhood experiences
  • Parental neglect
  • Experimenting with drugs and alcohol
  • Poverty
  • Instability at home
  • Criminal activity
  • Peer pressure
  • Exposure to abuse, substance use, and violence in the household
  • Community attitudes and influence
  • Co-occurring mental illnesses

Finding the Cause of Your Addiction

Understanding what led to your addiction will not happen in one day or one therapy session. It can take years of therapy and work to break down all the parts of your life that may have played a role in the development of your addiction. 

You may recall your first drink, but at that moment, you wouldn’t have foreseen what was to come. The creation of addiction is usually slow, and it can be easy to overlook the signs. Often, by the time these signs are evident, the addiction has already taken hold.

Understanding addiction is an important part of treatment and recovery, but it does not happen overnight. Although there are many possible aspects of your life that led to addiction, delving into each one and working through them takes time, patience, and focus on your healing. At The Guest House, we prioritize your progress. We use multiple therapeutic modalities to improve your experience and enhance your recovery process. Call us at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about how we can help you work through the challenges of addiction.