What are the Major Social Aspects Leads to Substance Abuse?

Drug addiction is a habit that leaves a person unable to stop using a particular substance. It is a condition that affects a person’s physical health as well as mental health. Drug addiction leads a person to a stage where he loses control over the use of a particular drug. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc are considered to be addictive drugs when these are abused. Similarly, a person can fall prey to drug addiction even after using prescribed medicines for a long time.

Opioids or pain killers when used for a long time or for seeking enjoyment and getting “high” proved to be highly addictive in their nature. Some people may start an experimental intake of drugs, just for the sake of fun or enjoyment, which may lead them to drug addiction. Even the use of a drug having low efficacy, which is considered safe, can pave a way for drug addiction. Drug addiction affects a person’s brain chemicals and ultimately leads him to a situation where he becomes too much dependent on the drug that he feels helpless about taking that drug time and again.

Social Aspects Play a Huge Role in Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a phenomenon that is caused by multiple factors. These factors include physical, physiological, psychological as well as social factors. Every single aspect that leads to substance abuse can be studied properly in order to learn how to cope with these aspects. Let’s have a look at how social factors can lead a person to drug addiction. Social factors are the things that define a person’s lifestyle and day-to-day life pattern. Here are some social factors that lead a person to substance abuse.  

  • Family History

Family history is one of the major social aspects that leads a person to substance abuse. If a person has parents or siblings involved in drug addiction, he is more likely to develop substance abuse than a person with no family history of drug abuse. Drugs and their abuse became something like a daily routine matter for such a person. The fear of the unknown, which may be associated with drugs for a person, having no exposure to drugs, is completely irrelevant for a person who observes his father or sibling taking drugs on a daily basis. Addiction can also be hereditary, but that does not mean that we ignore other aspects and take life for granted. It is said that the children of addicts turn out to be addicts themselves. One must try to change this narrative by becoming the perfect example and making sure that no one ever says that again. 

  • Mental Health Disorder

Most people do not understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. In order to have good physical health, it is important to take care of your mental health as well. Mental health is another important factor that leads to substance abuse. A person with mental illness is more vulnerable to drug addiction than a mentally normal person.

A person with bipolar disorder or psychosis considers drugs as their shelter from extreme mental disorders. Mental health disorders can lead to substance abuse, especially in persons that are already exposed to drugs from their family members. All these factors are interconnected with one another. People who suffer from some mental illness along with addiction need dual diagnosis treatment. A dual diagnosis treatment is a holistic approach to help a patient recover from addiction while dealing with their mental illness.

Some of the commonly observed mental illnesses that co-occur with addiction are; depression, stress, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Most dual diagnosis treatment centers accept all kinds of insurance coverages, so no need to worry about how you will be able to afford treatment. 

  • Peer Pressure

We, humans, are social animals and we need the approval and company of other people to survive. Peers may include class fellows, friends circle, and close and age fellow cousins. Peer pressure can be a leading factor for many misleading habits in teenagers. Drug addiction is one of those habits that can be caused by peer pressure. Youngsters in their teenage years are largely affected by the habits and passion of their friends. Sometimes they follow them to look like their friends or try to prove themselves to be their part, as “cool” as their friends are. All these factors lead a youngster towards substance abuse. Peer pressure should not become the center of your life. One must be conscious enough to know when to ignore peer pressure and fall into the trap of substance abuse. 

  • Lack of Family Involvement

A closely connected family proves to be a bond and a protective layer around the kids. The more the parents and the kids connected, the lesser the chances of children distracting from the right path. A kid loosely connected to the parents is more vulnerable to drug addiction than a child closely bonded to family. One of the major aspects that lead to substance abuse is a lack of family involvement. Teenagers especially need adults who will guide them and look after them. If parental supervision is lacking, kids will start drugs at a very early age. 

  • Early Use

Often people are trapped into addiction when they start using drugs for enjoyment and fun. A person using drugs for enjoyment at an early age has much more chances of being addicted to that particular substance. Teenage is a dangerous phase of a man’s life cycle. At this age, habits are fastly formed but once a habit is developed at this age, it is very difficult to quit that habit. Similar is the case with drug addiction. When a person is involved in the intake of the drug at a young age, the chances of getting addicted to it become much higher. So taking drugs at a younger age is another risk that leads a person to drug addiction.

  • Taking A Highly Addictive Drug

Drug addiction can be caused by using a drug with low efficacy but its chances are even higher when someone uses a drug that is highly addictive. Drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, and stimulants are highly addictive. So if a person starts taking these highly addictive drugs has much more chances of falling prey to drug addiction. Using a highly addictive drug is another key factor that leads to substance abuse.

  • Depression or Post Trauma Stress Disorder

Depression and drug addiction are always intermingled with each other. No one can say either depression leads to drug addiction or drug addiction leads to depression. But still, depression, anxiety, and tension are major factors that lead to drug addiction. Mostly the persons suffering from depression start using drugs as tension relievers and peace seekers. The sensation of happiness and enjoyment, felt with the release of dopamine in a flooded quantity makes them forget about the tensions and depression. They feel it to be a cure for their problems and tensions. Thus to relieve depression they get indulged in drug addiction.

  • Poverty or Financial Troubles

With gas prices on the rise and everything becoming high-priced, everyone is facing some kind of financial strain. Poverty is still another factor leading to drug addiction. The extreme level of poverty always brings tensions and anxiety. Poverty leads to a lack of resources and increased tensions. When that person could not solve his problems, he seeks to escape from the problems. He might use drugs to escape from the problems and at the end of the day, he becomes an addict. Thus poverty becomes a defining factor that leads to drug addiction.

  • Bullying

Bullies can have a very negative effect on their victims. Most kids or even adults start taking drugs because of their bullies. bullies tend to make mean remarks without thinking about how that will affect the other person. Sometimes a mean comment about someone’s physical appearance is all it takes to push them towards drugs. This is the reason why drug abuse is most common among teenagers going through puberty. It is the responsibility of adults and parents to see if they notice any signs of bullying in their child and deal with this as soon as they can. Bullying should not be tolerated in schools or at the workplace. It should be stopped so people do not feel the need to drown their sorrows in substance abuse. 

Bottom Line… 

Society and the people living around us have a great impact on our lives. If a person is surrounded by positive influences they will try and better themselves and become the best version. But if a person is surrounded by negative influences they might start adopting bad habits that may lead to substance abuse. Substance abuse is not a joke and should be taken seriously.

A person who is addicted should seek professional help and should visit an addiction treatment facility near them as soon as they can. If you or a loved one notices signs of mental illness along with substance abuse it is time to get in touch with an addiction treatment center that provides treatment for co-occurring disorders. Make treatment your priority and start a new sober life. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].