Simply put, a person uses drugs because he wants to feel different and better. The desire to get that feeling grew stronger until he finally abused drugs. Of course, everyone has their own reasons why they try and get addicted to legal or illegal drugs. Usually a combination of environmental, personality, biological, and external pressures forces a person to use drugs. Understanding why someone uses drugs is the first step to avoiding drug addiction and dealing with it if it is someone else or you.
Part 1 of 2: Understanding Why Someone Uses Drugs
Step 1. Understand that everyone wants change
A person tries new things when he wants a change in his life. When a person uses drugs or other addictive substances, such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and foods and drinks that contain caffeine, he only thinks about the benefits of these substances that can make changes to his life, not the dangers that can arise.
- Some people use drugs because they want to relieve or avoid physical and psychological pain. In addition, they also want to get an "escape" in life. The causes of this desire vary from trauma to boredom. They may use drugs to feel unique or "special" or to feel "normal."
- Research conducted in Great Britain in 2000 showed that two of the top five reasons for drug use are to relieve depression and make the user high. In such cases, drug users clearly think only of the short-term benefits of a temporary change in the way they perceive things.
Step 2. Consider external pressure
The reason why many young people try alcohol, cigarettes, or sexual experiences for the first time is because of the idea that "everyone does." Peer pressure like this is often also the main reason why they try to use drugs.
- People tend to use drugs when they are in an environment where drug use is normal. Although they can live independently, in the end everyone wants to be able to mingle with other people.
- Drug use research conducted in the United Kingdom also included "helping users stay literate when interacting socially with others" and "increasing enjoyment of an activity" as part of the top five reasons for drug use. The pressure to be the center of attention at the party (life of the party) that is often experienced by young people may influence someone to use drugs.
- People who don't have many support networks (a group of people who provide help to people who are having a hard time), such as family, friends, etc., who help prevent drug use have a higher tendency to try drugs.
Step 3. Check for environmental factors
It is undeniable that drug users come from all social and economic backgrounds. For example, 50% of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 have tried illegal drugs. However, factors such as poverty, an uncomfortable home environment, and lack of access to education or work or social services increase a person's chances of using drugs because they deprive him of opportunities for alternative assistance.
- The more reasons a person wants to have an "escape," and the less alternative help they can get, the more likely they are to try legal or illegal drugs. A stressful environment affects drug use as nearly 97% of respondents in the UK say the desire to find peace is the main reason they use drugs.
- However, a boring environment can also lead to a desire to experiment or to fight restraints. Both of these desires they realized by using drugs. For example, many young people living well off use drugs for this reason.
Step 4. Look at his personality
Everyone has their own personality and some people have a higher tendency to use drugs and become addicted to them. However, this does not make us condone drug use because no one is allowed to use it. Some people have a higher propensity to use drugs than others.
- People who are more impulsive or tend to take risks are more likely to try drugs. People who are more cautious are less likely to try drugs, but they are still vulnerable to them.
- People who have low self-esteem, signs of depression, or are very depressed have a high tendency to use drugs.
Part 2 of 2: Understanding the Reasons Someone Abuses Drugs
Step 1. Don't judge too harshly
You may be addicted to something, like texting, eating chocolate, gambling on the internet, etc. Of course, it is not easy for you to stop doing these activities. Drug addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower or determination. Many chemical processes and psychological elements arise when a person uses drugs so that drug addiction is easier to do than stop it.
- Even if there are reasons for that, it doesn't mean you can allow someone to continue using drugs. There are times when he finally chooses to use drugs even though he can actually stop himself from doing it. However, the better your understanding of addiction and the difficulties it can be to stop using drugs, the better prepared you will be to prevent or help overcome drug abuse.
- Becoming a drug addict and ending it is a process.
Step 2. Study the biopsychosocial
The "biopsychosocial model" has been around for nearly forty years. As the name implies, this theory examines the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence health and disease. This theory can also be applied to the treatment of drug abuse because any one of these factors can trigger addiction and the combination of these factors can make it difficult for a person to overcome his addiction.
- Some people are biologically predisposed to drug addiction more easily. This happens based on the effect of drugs on their bodies. Not everyone will get the same effects of drug use and some people will respond more strongly to blocking or activating neurotransmitter receptors. This process can lead to a stronger desire to use drugs. For more information, see the steps below.
- Many psychological profiles, such as impulsiveness, lack of self-confidence, tendency to depression, etc., can increase a person's tendency to use and become addicted to drugs. People who have difficulty determining whether the benefits of something are worth the impact also have a higher tendency to become addicted to drugs.
- Social and environmental factors that encourage drug use, such as peer pressure, lack of opportunities that can improve their quality of life, or lack of adequate support networks, increase a person's chances of drug addiction.
Step 3. Study the neurobiology of addiction
All drugs (and addictive substances in general) affect the signals that are sent to and received from the brain. The unique properties contained in each drug produce different effects. Addiction is a process of "tricking" the brain and over time the addiction "teaches" the brain to need more addictive substances. This is the main reason why quitting drug abuse requires more than just motivation.
- For example, marijuana and heroin have a similar structure to nerve transmitters also known as chemical messengers that carry signals from the brain to the body and vice versa. Therefore, these nerves can trick brain receptors and nerve centers in the body and make responses to conditions that are not actually occurring in the body.
- Meanwhile, drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine trigger the release of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, which overstimulates parts of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure. The feeling of euphoria caused by overstimulation of the reward system (a neural structure that regulates incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement) in the brain can turn into a pattern that causes the brain to need more stimulation to recreate the euphoric response.
Step 4. View addiction as a chronic brain disease
Some people disagree with the idea that drug addiction is a disease because they feel it can take away the guilt that addicts experience. However, like disease, drug abuse is caused by bad choices people make. Fortunately, like any disease, drug addiction can be controlled.
- Drug addiction can be categorized as a chronic brain disease because addiction changes drug use which was originally done voluntarily to be forced to do. Addiction occurs because there is a choice to use drugs. However, when someone is addicted to drugs, using drugs is no longer an option, but a necessity because he has difficulty fighting his addiction. That's why the desire to quit is not enough to stop the addiction.
- For example, diseases such as diabetes or asthma can be effectively treated with a combination of care, support, and inner will. The same can be done to treat drug addiction. Help is available to those who need and want it.
Step 5. Consider the spiritual aspect of drug addiction
Drugs and alcoholic beverages mimic the essential need for a spiritual relationship with God that is carried out through transcendence and pseudospiritual relationships (relationships that appear to give the impression of being spiritual, but are not). In addition, drug use also creates a false sense of "good" in yourself that can actually lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, emptiness, hopelessness, and ultimately death. Having a close relationship with God is a way to get rid of the loneliness that arises because of the doubts about identity that addicts feel. Feelings of loneliness can also be eliminated by healthy relationships with oneself and others. While taking care of the body is important, the ultimate solution to curing addiction is on a spiritual and altruistic level. Selfishness is the main trigger for almost all problems that arise. Without a significant change in character or spiritual awareness, addicts will continue to use drugs and drink alcohol without thinking about the consequences, the desire to quit that has been built up, or the importance of not using drugs. He will often have a delusional or "crazy" belief that "this time" he can control his addiction.
One of the main problems an addict faces is that he is overwhelmed by his inciting thoughts that he cannot live without drugs. In addition, he also often cannot imagine a happy life for himself. Therefore, there is no way to completely replace and satisfy the sense of loss that arises when addictive substances are removed from the addict's life. To be able to overcome this, there must be a form of pleasure that exceeds the quality of pleasure obtained from using drugs. The spiritual pleasure gained through character change provides a unique "relationship" that can remedy all unhealthy pursuits of pleasure, such as drug use
- If you use drugs for any reason, understand the risks of using them. You may not notice the damage drugs do right away, but some substances have long-term effects that can seriously affect your life.
- Remember to do your research. Some drugs have a greater danger than others. In addition, many drugs have invisible health risks. Look for balanced and impartial information.
- In the end, the choice to try drugs or not is yours. Even if someone else uses it, it doesn't mean that using drugs is a good thing for you.