How Does Addiction Start?

If you are seeking to embark on your own journey of personal recovery, feel free to reach out to our California rehabilitation center for immediate assistance.

Before delving into the origins of addiction, it is crucial to acknowledge that while addiction is a chronic and recurring ailment, it can be effectively treated. Individuals grappling with substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, which are the formal terms for drug addiction and alcoholism, have access to an array of choices and facilities for sober living should they choose to embark on a path of lasting sobriety. If you struggle with an addiction and are looking for a counselor then I recommend Addiction Care.

What Leads to Substance Abuse Disorders?

Inherent in human behavior is the desire to seek out experiences that bring us joy and satisfaction, whether that be through indulging in delicious cuisine and beverages, surrounding ourselves with comfortable surroundings, or engaging in enjoyable pastimes.

When you experience positive emotions, such as feeling good, your brain releases dopamine, which is a type of neurotransmitter. Dopamine acts as a chemical messenger and facilitates the transmission of information between neurons in the brain.

As you go through the process of growing up, from infancy to adulthood, your brain retains the recollection of pleasant sensations, along with the origins of those sensations. In a well-functioning brain, memories are stored and linked to future feelings of contentment.

When drugs are consumed or alcohol is abused, the brain does not function in a healthy manner. As a result, it begins to release excessive amounts of dopamine. Additionally, drugs have the ability to change the chemistry of the brain and hinder the efficient reuptake of dopamine. Consequently, individuals may experience an extended state of happiness and euphoria that they would not typically achieve without drug use.

When individuals partake in drug consumption or alcohol abuse, it disrupts the healthy functioning of the brain. As a result, the brain begins to produce and release an excessive amount of dopamine. Furthermore, drugs have the ability to modify the chemistry of the brain and impede the efficient reabsorption of dopamine. Consequently, this leads to an extended feeling of joy and euphoria that would typically not be achievable without the use of drugs.

Over time, happiness becomes solely dependent on substance use. Everyday tasks may seem uninteresting and meaningless, with anything unrelated to substance use being given less priority.

At this point, the addiction cycle is fully active, and only the consumption of substances holds any value.

Although this description may be overly simplified, it outlines the general progression from substance use to drug addiction.

Drug use has the ability to modify brain chemistry.

The brain’s reward system, along with the neurotransmitter dopamine, undergoes gradual and continuous changes as a result of persistent substance use.

How does the initial addiction to drugs typically occur for individuals?

What Causes the Onset of Drug Addiction?

Although individuals make the initial decision to use drugs, no one intentionally chooses to become addicted to drugs.

Addiction is not caused by a deficiency in moral values or willpower, as we will explore further in the following explanation.

Certain risk factors have the potential to influence your susceptibility to addiction in various ways.

  • Genetics
  • Drug of choice
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Method of delivery
  • Environmental factors
  • Peer pressure