A ‘Drug’ is any form of substance taken either orally or injected via syringes. Drugs are primarily taken to treat medical illnesses by causing a change reaction in a person’s body chemistry, psyche, and physiology. Drug treatment requires supervision and a proper prescription penned down by a legal medical practitioner. However, some over-the-counter drugs, which are purchased without a prescription or drugs purchased illegally are not solely for medicinal use. Many young adults and teens engage in the act of drug intake for the sake of recreational use.
A brief search conducted online revealed some of the many reasons why people start taking drugs or get attracted to them. These included instant gratification, coping with mental health issues, avoiding family problems, relationships, trauma, trying to feel good, dealing with low self-esteem, feelings of emptiness inside, an attempt to escape reality or change something about them, etc. All of these points are explored in depth below.
The concept of instant gratification stems from a need to quickly fix something broken inside us. This can range from fixing physical pain to coping with stressful environments. The drug, depending on their type, when taken, provide people with instant relief. A feeling of euphoria takes over them since their minds get numbed and they forget about their pain. However, regular use of drugs to treat physical pain leads to addiction.
Studies found that children who have a history of domestic violence and childhood abuse get attracted to drugs as it helps them escape reality. Additionally, people who have experienced any kind of trauma also find solace in drugs.
Dealing with Low Self-Esteem
Another very popular reason why kids get into drug abuse is because of their low self-esteem. When teens and young kids start comparing themselves to their peers and feel lacking in some way, they try to make up for it by venturing into substance abuse. This takes away their ability to live a healthy life at a very young age since most of the kids never confide in their families about their addiction issues.
Frequent substance abuse can also lead to becoming mentally dysfunctional for the rest of their lives.
Peer Pressure or Copying Friends
We have all heard the advice: ‘Choose your friends wisely.’ This is because we end up making decisions like them and adopting their habits. This also includes drug addiction. If all of your friends are into taking drugs and it is a norm at every friend’s reunion to take a shot, then eventually you will end up taking one shot too. This will lead you to another and thus the cycle of addiction will continue. It is essential that you take good care of your friends and stay away from such activities or people who ask you to be a part of it.
Many people get into drugs to cope with the problems in their day to day lives. These problems can include family and marital problems, abusive spouses, narcissist parents or even one’s own mental health problems.
Research has shown that people with mental health problems have increased chances of getting into substance and drug abuse as a coping mechanism with their deteriorating mental health. Drugs create a safe paradise inside their heads and allow them to deal with the already existing chemical imbalances in their brains on their own. Consequently, this makes them feel like alpha or ‘king of the world’ which in reality does not exist and hence, leads them to make riskier decisions too, putting their life and life of others in danger.
The Real Deal
Apart from all the reasons listed above, the real reason why people start taking drugs is they are not being loved properly. The lack of an empathetic human ear to vent their triggers, feelings, underlying emotions, and traumas too, is what leads them to these dark saviors. So, the only solution to protecting your loved ones from getting into this dark practice is to love them, listen to them, be emotionally available, let them take up their space, help them improve, do not shame them for their shortcomings and form a non-judgmental human connection.