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Abuse Answers: What Are 5 Causes of Drug Abuse?

In the light of our nation’s opioid crisis, there’s an important question to be asked — what are the causes of drug abuse?

Drug addiction is a multi-faceted issue, and there’s no one answer. However, if we identify some of the main causes of drug abuse and addiction, we can help those who are suffering.

The goal is also to help prevent anyone else from falling prey to addiction or drug abuse, by eliminating some of the causes that drive people down this path in the first place.

That’s why we’ve assembled a guide to four causes of drug abuse, and how we can make a difference. 

1. Prescriptions Can Kill

It starts innocently. Someone goes to the doctor and asks for a prescription. Maybe they’re dealing with chronic pain or an ongoing disease.

In many cases, they don’t even ask for a prescription. That’s just what the doctor prescribes, and the doctor knows best — so a patient goes off and fills it. 

In cases of extreme pain, such as car accidents or surgery recovery, it’s easy to become dependent on painkillers. It’s been a point of discussion in medical circles for a long time. 

How can you strike a balance between allowing a patient to suffer and making sure they don’t become dependent on that pharmaceutical relief? It’s been a problem forever. In fact, even during the Civil War, soldiers became dependent on popular painkillers of the time, such as morphine.

2. Unregulated Prescription Refills

In many places, the pharmaceutical industry is not as regulated as it could be. Many people can refill their prescriptions even when they don’t actually need it anymore.

Sometimes, drug addiction isn’t intentional. Instead, it’s a slow slide for people who only intended to follow the doctor’s orders.

3. Mental Health Issues 

Many people are willing to try anything to escape the mental pain they’re dealing with. That’s why mental health issues, such as depression or borderline personality disorder, are often listed as primary risk factors. 

Drug abuse isn’t something that anyone wants. But weighing the emotional and mental pain versus the risk of addiction, many people choose to flirt with disaster.

It helps temporarily, but it’s a vicious cycle. Abuse of prescription drugs only compounds the issues that were present in the first place.

Causes of drug abuse among students often include mental illness, pressure, loneliness, separation from family or friends, and more. 

4. Past Issues

Past physical, emotional, or sexual abuse is listed among the main drug abuse causes. These issues cause massive impact, in childhood and beyond.

In many cases, drug abuse was modeled by parents, guardians, or other adult figures. In other situations, the causes of drug abuse and addiction are the trauma, pain, and unprocessed memories that many victims feel.

5. Peer Pressure

It’s a tale as old as time. In fact, some students or young people may roll their eyes at the concept of peers pressuring them into drug use.

Sometimes, though, it’s a slippery slope, which is why it’s important to seek treatment today. A partner or best friend starts using, and access is easy. This is a common cause of drug abuse among students.

Causes of Drug Abuse

The causes of drug abuse are numerous. From prescriptions that go wrong to unregulated refills, from mental health issues to personal demons, many people become addicted. However, there are lots of treatment options available that can help.

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