Many studies show genetic predisposition and environmental causes for drug addiction. A study that looked at identical twins noted that addiction is 50-60% genetic predisposition. It showed that children of addicts are eight times more likely to become addicted.
While genetics plays a large role in drug addiction causes, environmental issues should be addressed.
Drug Addiction Caused by Environmental Factors
Environmental factors play a role in whether a person becomes addicted. Childhood traumas without intervention can cause addiction. One study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) asked participants to report on ten categories of trauma experienced in childhood. These categories include neglect, abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual), abandonment, and isolation from loved ones (emotionally and physically). The more instances of trauma in childhood increased the likelihood of addiction. Factors of Childhood Trauma and Addictions offers more information into the relationship between trauma and addictions.
Drug Addiction Caused by Trauma
Other Causes of Childhood Trauma
- Peer Pressure
Trauma is emotional or psychological damage caused by an upsetting event. Loss of a loved one due to a car accident is traumatic as no one can say goodbye. But what about the toddler who loses his father due to divorce? It is difficult for him to understand why daddy does not come home at night. These interactions can cause trauma in early development. Onset of stress in early development wires the brain for addiction. Without intervention, the toddler who loses his daddy to divorce will look outside himself for validation. He will seek ways to feel good. He may turn to food and overeating sugar to get an emotional high. Later in life, he is predisposed to try other substances including drug and alcohol to continue manipulating his emotions.
Drug Addiction Caused by Isolation
Isolation can be emotional or physical. It is defined as being separate or lacking relationship. A child who is isolated becomes dependent on outside factors to feel good about herself.
Isolation is neglect and comes in many forms. A child who does not have the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing is neglected. Yet a child who has all of these things but is ignored by parents busy working is also neglected. That child does not have the nurturing needed to form positive relationship with others and with substances.
Studies of Drug Addiction Caused by Isolation
An article in the Huffington Post discusses several studies that point to isolation being a cause of drug addiction. Subjects in the studies engaged in addictive behavior while isolated to manipulate emotions. Once those subjects returned to an environment of social interaction, the addictive behavior stopped with little withdrawal.
The subjects of the studies were rats addicted to heroin or cocaine, patients prescribed a medical heroin while recovering from injury in a hospital, and soldiers who used heroin while in Vietnam. The studies showed that while isolated the subjects choose addiction for relief. Once reintroduced to positive social interaction, the subjects discontinued used of the drugs without intervention.
These studies help to show the importance of positive social interaction to prevent addiction.
Positive Social Interaction as Treatment of Drug Addiction
Positive social interaction is a key to overcoming drug addiction, and it’s causes. It’s hard to find positive relationships when in the midst of addiction. Peer pressure can be difficult to overcome when surrounded by users. If you are ready for a change, call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616. Come out of isolation and into recovery with the help of our personalized team.