Substance Abuse BLOG

Drug addiction can affect any age, gender, race, social status, and demographics. But perhaps, you somehow wondered why some people are more susceptible to substance abuse than others. You might even ask: how come willpower isn't enough to discourage someone from using drugs?

If only the answer is as simple as reciting the ABCs, it would probably be a lot easier to curb the problem of drug abuse. But sadly, that isn't the case. However, some experts like Dr. Sherry Hoppe, author of Hooked but not Hopeless: Escaping the Lure of Addiction, can explain what makes other people vulnerable to banned substances.

"In some cases, susceptibility to addiction is genetically wired—neutron pathways are predisposed to rerouting by alcohol or drugs. Vulnerabilities can be magnified if a person fails to develop emotional, intellectual, and social skills—sometimes because of dysfunctional families," Dr. Hoppe said.

Inability to find a solution to problems, fragile emotion, trauma, shame, denial, emotional avoidance, numbing-avoidance of feeling, quick-fix mentality, and controlling are all common personality trait of people who take refuge in drugs.

"The most common behavior pattern frequently stems from guilt or shame. Addicts feel failure towards themselves, family members, or others—in some way and sometimes rationalize their actions by blaming others," Dr. Hoppe added.

Sometimes what starts as a harmless attempt to seek relief for pain and sufferings could eventually turn into a dangerous addiction. For example, a person may begin taking antidepressant or sleeping pills as means of temporary relief, but when that person starts to look at his/her medications as the ideal solution to mask life hurts s/he could become increasingly dependent to the pills until it becomes harder to stay away from them.

"The inability to cope with life’s problems and stressors leads the addict to seek other ways to escape, and substance abuse becomes the easiest route," Dr. Hoppe said. This is why behavioral health professionals need instant immunoassays to periodically monitor an addict's recovery process.