Nicotine and Alcohol are legal and loosely regulated to prevent addiction. An estimated 88,000 people die from Alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Those who tend to abuse these substances use them to self-medicate for anxiety, trauma and/or stress.
Some people think that because their doctor gives them a prescription, the medication they are taking is safe to consume without consequences. Unfortunately, Opiate-based prescriptions are extremely addictive and can act as a gateway to other drugs, like Heroin. 30% of emergency room admissions from prescription abuse involve Opiate-based substances.
Peer pressure causes people to do things they would not have done to either impress their friends, or trying to feel valued. Receiving a text message from a friend asking to come drink is difficult to say no to.
Many people who struggle with depression do not get proper treatment or diagnosis for this problem. Those struggling with depression tend to self-medicate to handle the symptoms of depression with Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, and various other mind-altering substances.
This is most common reason among young adults and teenagers. They start to use drugs because they want to fit in. Being rebellious as a teenager or young adult is very common. In a lot of cases, young adults and teenagers don’t fully understand the severity of drug use and addiction.
To Feel Good
People start to abuse drugs and Alcohol because they want to feel better than they do. Whether it is stress, anxiety or enhancing their fun when going out on the weekends, using drugs or alcohol to feel better is a gateway to a severe addiction.
Prescription drugs, Nicotine, and Alcohol are easy to acquire because they are readily available. Raiding a persons medicine cabinet or running to the store afor a pack of smokes and a bottle of vodka is the quickest way to develop a life consuming addiction.
In many cases, substances like Alcohol, Marijuana and prescription painkillers act as a gateway to drugs that have a more intense and mind-altering effect. Currently, the Opioid epidemic is forcing people to turn to street drugs, like Meth or Heroin, when their doctor stops writing refills for their prescriptions.
Mind-altering substance, like Cocaine and Alcohol, promise to heighten experience and that experience is worth exploring. Unfortunately, there are drugs like Heroin, Ecstasy, and Meth, that are so addictive that the person will begin a pattern of abuse, which can eventually lead to an addiction.
Self-medicating is the top reason people abuse drugs and Alcohol. Stress, anxiety, reoccurring pain, undiagnosed mental illnesses, severe depression, loneliness, trauma; these are all reasons why people would self-medicate with mind-altering substances to cope with what they are feeling or what they do not want to feel.