Why Do People Do Drugs: Getting To The Core Of Addiction

2 woman smoking cigarettes

Why do people do drugs? The answer to this question is, unfortunately, unique to every situation. If there was a right or wrong answer to this question, it may be possible to put an end to drug abuse. However, millions of people each year suffer from substance abuse issues. Certain people are more at risk of developing a substance abuse issue. They may have a history of abuse in their own lives, in their family history, or they may have a medical condition that makes them more likely to abuse drugs. The many reasons people use drugs fall all over the spectrum.

Answering the question, “Why do people do drugs,” is not as simple as it might sound to someone who doesn’t have a drug addiction. There are reasons many sober people will never understand. Whether you have a drug abuse issue or you love someone who might suffer from drug abuse, understanding what this means and why someone is an addict can help you understand their situation. It might also be the key to helping people overcome their issues by seeking help to start the recovery process. Drug addiction can kill you, and understanding why people continue to use drugs can help you understand their issues.

About Drug Addiction

A person is smoking cigarette

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Why do people do drugs? It may have begun as a simple curiosity about what it’s like, and it may have spiraled out of control. Drugs are highly addicting, and people use them because they simply cannot go a day without using them once addiction takes over. It’s that simple.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Someone who uses drugs once or twice a year or even once or twice a month is not considered an addict. While it’s true that drug use is illegal, those who only use it on occasion are not addicted to the substances because they can control when and how much they use. An addict suffers from a neurobiological disease. It’s a medical disease simply because continuous drug use changes the way the brain works.

Addiction is when the brain does not believe it can function without its substance of choice. A person no longer has any control over it. They have to use their substance of choice daily, often more than one time per day, in higher doses than ever. Their bodies become immune to the substance in smaller doses as addiction becomes more prevalent.

An addict will respond physically if they are unable to access their substance of choice. For example, a person who is hospitalized and monitored or in another situation where they cannot use their substance for more than a few hours at a time will show physical signs of withdrawal. It’s more than just wishing they could have their choice substance and understanding that they can’t until they have the time. It’s shaking, vomiting, nausea, pain, hallucinations, and a myriad of other physical effects that affect a person’s body.

Addicts Can’t Control Their Behavior

A person addicted to drugs saw people in double count

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Addiction is a lack of control. The person who is addicted to a substance cannot control their abuse. They cannot stop using their drug of choice. They might want to, they might try to, but they cannot. There is nothing they can do to stop this from happening in their lives. They will do anything to prevent their friends and family from knowing about their abuse, and they will hide their problems, lie about them, and even go so far as to break the law to get a fix. It’s a dangerous disease in many ways.

Addiction Warning Signs

Why do people do drugs? You’re asking this because you suspect someone you love is addicted to drugs, and that might be because you’ve noticed the warning signs. If you’re unsure what the warning signs are, here is a list of the most common signs of drug addiction.

  • Loss of control in many aspects of life
  • Lying about drugs and/or alcohol
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Signs of trouble at home, school, or work
  • Changes to hygiene
  • Changes to physical appearance
  • Changes to appetite and weight
  • A change in behavior associated with activities people once enjoyed
  • Risk-taking
  • Acting out
  • Causing problems in personal relationships
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Physical signs of withdrawal when drugs are not available
  • Stealing or breaking the law to get money to buy drugs

These are just some of the many signs of drug abuse. Every person is different, and they might not always show the same signs. For example, someone with financial means to purchase their substance of choice might not lie about missing things around the house, missing money, or steal or break the law to get their fix. They have the means, so these are not issues they face. Everyone is different, and that means you must pay attention. You know your loved one, and you know what is and is not normal behavior for them.

Why Do People Do Drugs?

A person blowing the cigarette smoke

So why do people do drugs? The reasons are many, but it all comes down to the fact that drugs are addicting. Once you become addicted, recovery is a long road that requires spending the rest of your life focused on a brighter future.

Genetic Reasons

Cultural Reasons

Medication Reasons

Loneliness Reasons

Anxiety Reasons

Pain Reasons

Stress Reasons


Why do people do drugs? There is not one specific reason. People all have their own issues. They have their reasons. The only thing that addicts have in common is that they did not set out to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Many times, it happened when they did not expect it, and it’s become a problem that they cannot handle on their own. Getting to the bottom of why people use drugs is not difficult; it’s addicting. No one can control their addictions without the willpower and the help needed to recover.

Featured Image: Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

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