Why Do People Become Addicts?

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landmarkboston1 | 19:19 Mon 21st Sep 2020 | Body & Soul
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Why Do People Become Addicts?


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Great first question! Welcome to AB.

People start "taking things" often as a result of peer pressure, especially with regards to smoking and drinking. When I was at school back in my plooky yooth, you were seriously uncool if you didn't smoke, sometimes to the extent that girls wouldn't even talk to you if you couldn't offer them a fag. And, once the dependence takes hold, it can be the devil's work to remove it.

Addictions to other things can start with being prescribed painkillers or anti-depressants by your GP but, if you're not careful, you find that you can't actually do without them. This is particularly prevalent in things like sleeping pills - after a while, you can't get to sleep without them.
Some people are more susceptible to drink/drugs etc changing the pleasure pathways in the brain so the more they have, the more they want.
True, but you also build more and more of a tolerance so that you need more and more of the fix to get the equivalent high.
Im addicted to niccottine (gums now, not fags)
Certantly addicted to alcohol
Tried almost all drugs/chemicals throughout my life. (heroin, weed, benzo's etc)
But alcohol is a remaining addiction that blights my life.
I live with the consequences but i remain a 'functioning' alcoholic.
*Waits for ABers to castigate me*

''Why do people become addicts'
Reasons are many and varied.
Also true, but you would have to have those addiction properties in the brain to need to build a tolerance in the first place.
Bad nurturing. Adding alcohol to babies bottles so they sleep! How MIlaw reared my hubby who died of liver sclerosis.
hmm I wdnt take a first stab at AB for an answer
there is a huge (really huge) literature on this subject
and its treatment
and the lack of success of most treatments

if I had one point to make -
people dont do one drug - but alcohol, hemp, heroin and cocaine
and this leads the scientists to say there is an addictive personality

stable addicts - just 10mg morphine a day and held down a job were commonplace fifty y ago - and you never see now
I was given whiskey in a bottle as a kid but dont blame that on my drink problrm, more to do with been abused by the age of 10 on a teacher
you are "one standard addict" sort of standing in the row of addicts....

lots of tipples
and treatment hasnt been that successful
It was only in my teenage years that I started to chuck everything down my throat and yet only alcohol remained that comforted me.

I could easily have become a drug addict but didnt.
environment must have something to do with it

we were the years directly after - and looking at the number of deaths and wrecked lives - our years were deffo deffo light on drugs
directly after the summer of luuuurve of 1968
oops sozza Nailit
I thought you had junk in prison
if you did and managed to shake it off
you are in a minority
Peter makes the point I recognise, I do have an addictive personality, and had problems with alcohol. Smoking disabled me, or at !east added to the industrial muck I breathed for years. Psychotic drugs too, bit never cocaine or heroin thank God.
I know a few H addicts and people on cocaine which is sad.
Weed is everywhere.
Ah yes, the summer of 67.
I'm sure you'll appreciate the pedantry, Peter, but the summer of love was 1967. :-)
There is no one answer to that question, because people are individuals and each is unique.

That said, there are common factors involved in addictive behaviours.

One common link is a desire to alter consciousness to a greater or lesser degree.

That can range from awkwardness in social situations needing a little alcohol to relax and 'take the edge off' right through to someone whose daily life is so unbearable, it needs blotting out for as long and as much as possible - and every variation in between

The problem with addiction is, every single addictive substance known to man, without exception, starts off being pleasurable - obviously, which is why people ingest more of whatever it is they like.

The problem occurs when pleasure turns into necessity, what was ingested to feel good is now ingested to stop feeling bad.

The addictive personality is the individual who is unable to recognize the tipping point, where one stops and the other starts.

But as I said, reasons and situations are individual, there is no simple pat answer to your question.
I still think it is something in the pathways of the brain and the brain's make up in some people. Lisa Minnelli said that when she had her first drink in life she felt like she was "coming home" Her mother probably had the same make up. Whether that was caused by depression or something else is anyone's guess but some people can be exposed to all sorts of trouble in their life and not turn to substances and others who have problems don't. The problem is much more fundamental that what one has been exposed to in their life.
Ex-alcoholic here.

As has been said, many reasons. I climbed into the bottle because it quickly distanced me from reality upon which I wasn’t keen, and because I liked it! I really liked the taste of alcohol as well as its effects.

30 units a day for a couple of decades. Self-disgust (faecal incontinence) finally prompted me to stagger away from drink 18 years ago.

Does this help you?
// There is no one answer to that question, because people are individuals and each is unique.//
erm there is a huge industry out there
and you can even specialise in drug addiction psychiatry

results erm not - that good

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