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common substance abuse causes, top reasons for addiction

The Most Common Causes Of Substance Abuse

What causes an individual to start drinking or using illegal street drugs? There are many common reasons why this occurs, and for substance abuse treatment to be highly effective the contributing causes must be identified and addressed. The factors involved will be different for each person, so a customized treatment plan and individual approach is needed for the best substance abuse treatment results possible. Some of the most common causes or contributing factors for substance abuse in any form include:

  • Genetic predisposition to substance abuse and addiction
  • Chaotic home environment
  • Early exposure to drugs or alcohol in the home
  • Parenting that is ineffective
  • A failure to bond with the parents
  • An environment that is not nurturing
  • Behavior that is inappropriate, seen on both sides of the spectrum by aggression or a failure to interact with peers outside the home
  • Coping skills that are poor or that do not develop properly
  • Peer influence and peer pressure
  • Academic performance that is poor or unacceptable
  • Perceptions that it is okay to use certain drugs or alcohol
  • Mental disorders
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain

The most commonly heard argument is whether nurture or nature are responsible for substance abuse, and the truth is that both elements play important roles. If there is a genetic predisposition to substance abuse this is not a clear indicator that the individual will become a user or addict, only that they have a higher risk of this happening. The same is true with the nurture side of the equation. Many children grow up in poor environments that are not nurturing or supportive but they do not always end up with a substance abuse problem.