Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior, leading to an inability to control the use of legal or illegal drugs or medications. Common causes of addiction include chronic stress, a history of trauma, mental illness, and a family history of addiction. Understanding how these can lead to chronic substance abuse and addiction can help lower your risk of becoming an addict. Trauma can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety and can result in addiction or suicide.
Trauma experienced during childhood can cause extremely high levels of stress in young people, which can permanently alter their brain growth and chemistry. This is why many people with problems during their childhood can suffer from addiction problems. People often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to stop or suppress negative thoughts or emotions that accompany their co-occurring disorder. While the temporary euphoric feelings of drugs and alcohol may offer brief relief, they only worsen the long-term co-occurring disorder.
This is because some of the side effects of drug and alcohol use include anxiety and depression. Therefore, when additional anxiety and depression are combined with existing anxiety and depression, they can cause harmful effects. Many people who suffer from a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety or depression, may be prescribed medications to control their mental health symptoms. While these medications can be a very useful tool in the short term, a person who may have very good intentions of relieving their symptoms can begin to suffer from addiction quickly.