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What Causes Addiction?

People often ask me what causes addiction. And I say, firstly the word 'addiction' is so stigmatising, so let's talk about dependency instead. And then I say, if we knew the answer to this question then no-one would be dependent on drugs'. But I wonder if that's true. Because humans have been using alcohol and other drugs for centuries. And let's face it, drugs can make you feel good (for a while at least). What we do know though, is that if your family has struggled with dependency then there is a greater risk that your child will become dependent. It doesn't mean they will, there is just a greater risk. In other cases, we know that people start out experimenting on drugs and may continue to use drugs their whole lives (or they stop after a while). But often, the reason that people become dependent on drugs is to forget the terrible trauma they have experience in their lives. Sexual abuse, domestic and family violence, losing someone to suicide, family breakdown and the lack of attachment or being repeatedly exposed to drug use as a child. So let's be kind, patient, understanding and compassionate when we know someone has a drug problem. They need our support. And so does their whole family.


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