Reasons for Substance Abuse

Drug addiction is a disease affecting millions of people around the world. But, why does it happen? Learn more about the hidden reasons for substance abuse

Struggling with an addiction can have deadly consequences. It changes the person mentally and physically, and sometimes recovering may seem the most difficult thing to achieve. But, why does it happen? What are the reasons for substance abuse and, is there a way to prevent it?

Substance abuse causes severe illnesses and injuries in millions of Americans every single year. Despite the many campaigns, organizations, and legislation, it is a disease that continues to affect society to its core.

The effects of substance abuse have a strong impact on the person, but it also affects their family, their social circle, their education, and profession. And, while many are aware of these consequences of substance abuse, truth is, there are still many others falling victim to it.

Some of the most common reasons for substance abuse that recovering addicts have cited include:

  • The environment: engaging in risky behavior or in substance abuse because the people around them are doing it, peer pressure, parental example, being a victim of physical or sexual abuse, stress, etc.
  • Feel better: taking drugs to relieve certain mental states such as anxiety, phobias, depression, and stress to mask the sensation of distress that comes from these disorders.
  • The high: abusing drugs for the euphoric sensation it produces, the high levels of dopamine, accompanied by a sense of confidence, empowerment and increased energy.

While these are the most common reasons for substance abuse as stated by recovering patients, there are other factors that play a role, such as genetics, how someone develops, suffering from mental health conditions (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD…), etc.

Unfortunately, the consequences of substance abuse are far too many, and in many cases, when the disease is not addressed in time or not addressed properly, these can be lethal.

Some of the most common effects of substance abuse include:

  • Heart rate irregularities
  • Blood pressure irregularities
  • Drastic changes in body temperature
  • Changes in weight
  • Organ damage or organ failure
  • Respiratory complications
  • Higher risk of cancer
  • Higher risk of contraction of Hepatitis, HIV

And while these are just some of the physical consequences of substance abuse, there are many other physiological issues that come with it. Some of the most common psychological effects of substance abuse include:

  • Mood swings
  • Increased feelings of anxiety, paranoia
  • Violent behavior
  • Confusion and memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Erratic behavior
  • Suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts

Despite these consequences, substance abuse and drug addiction are problems that can’t be denied. Prevention can come in the form of good and open communication, setting a good example, providing support to someone in need, being able to listen when someone asks for help, getting informed and sharing the information, etc.

In addition, if someone is already dealing with substance abuse or an addiction, getting appropriate support is the safest and most effective way to help them regain control of their life. A comprehensive detoxification process, followed by a personalized rehabilitation program will guarantee someone’s recovery and will instill a sense of well-being and stability.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling there is high-quality help available right now. Call us to speak to one of our Treatment Specialists, who will provide answers to all of your questions in total confidentiality.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.