1. Personality, Heredity and Physiology
There are some traits which appear with above average frequency in those who abuse drugs as a high level of anxiety, emotional immaturity, a low ability to tolerate frustration, low self esteem, feelings of guilt and compulsiveness. Personality, heredity and physiology may make some people more prone to become drug abusers but in themselves these factors do not cause drug addiction.
2. Past Background and Culture
The family environment and society in which we are raised also can increase or decrease the likelihood of addiction.
a. Parental Models – How parents behave often influence the susequent behavior of children.
b. Parental Attitudes – Parental permissiveness and parental rejectin can both stimulate chemical use and abuse. When parents do not care whether or not the children drink, there is no concern about the danger of drugs or alcohol and misuse often follows. If parents neglect the children or are excessively controlling, the chidren rebel. Delinquency, excessive drug abuse and alcoholism often follow.
c. Cultural Expectations – If a culture or sub culture group has clear guidelines about the use of alcohol and drugs, abuse is less likely. HOwever, if teenager drinking is thought of as a sign of growing up and is the “in thing” to do, conditions are set up which lead many youth to drug abuse.
3. Present Stress – The roots of addiction most often are found in the teenage years. Drugs are used as a way to escape pressures temporarily and enjoy a feeling of tranquility or euphoria which later becomes an indispensable crutch by which people deny stress and dull the pains fo life.
4. Perpetuating Influence – In understanding addiction, it is important to consider what makes some people vulnerable, what motivates people to start taking drugs and what keeps the addiction going.
At some stage in the addiciton process, edocrine and biochemical changes occur which make withdrawal very difficulty. Even more powerful are the psuchological changes which have built up over the years. The drug has become the core around which life organized.
Other perpetuating influence is the addict’s family. Alcoholism and to a lesser extent drug addiction have bene described as family diseases. Treatment will be delated if families or employers perpetuate the problem by denying its reality, hiding it from otehrs and protecting the addict from facing the consequences of his or her irresponsible and self-centered behavior.
5. Spiritual Influences – The most important causes of drug abuse is the existence of a spiritual, religious and existential vacuum. Human beings have an inner need for a real and growing relationship with God. When this craving is denied, unrecognized and unfilled, there is a serach for something else which will fill the vacuum. No more learly is this stated than in the Bible, “Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path, be filled isntead with the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him.” Here in one sentence, is a warning, an implied cause and an answer to the problem of addiction.