What Causes Addiction? The Best Approach to Addiction Recovery

Hey, it’s Garret Biss. So I wanted to answer the question right now. What causes people to get addicted?

This is a question that comes up all the time in conversations about addiction. and one of the reasons it comes up because there’s not really a clear answer to it. Oh, there, there is a clear answer. It’s just not as small and defined and neatly packaged as we’d like it to be. The, the real answer is there’s many things that can lead somebody to become addicted, whether it’s to a behavioral addiction or a substance addiction. And for every person that has gone down that path and become addicted to something, or they have some substance or behavior that’s really taken over their life and they, and they have cravings for it and it’s creating negative consequences and they can’t seem to resist that behavior, that substance. For every individual who’s experienced that, they have an individual path that took them to that place.

There’s an individual or a unique combination of life experiences and contributing factors that got them to that place. Now there’s some similarities or there’s some specific categories which, within which we can be challenged or within which these contributing factors, fall into. But for each person it’s going to be something different. The biggest areas where contributing factors come from is biological factors. Some people are genetically predisposed, to addictive tendencies and behaviors. And it’s not because, really because their body acts in a different way when this chemical is introduced to them. But there was a study that I read that that says, it kind of debunks the idea that there’s an alcoholic gene and what it identifie d or what the theory was is that it’s not necessarily an alcoholic gene or a drug addict gene. What it is, is it’s a genetic predis, a predisposition to greater emotional sensitivity. If you think about it kind of makes sense if you are somebody who’s, feels emotions much more really, much, much deeper, much more deeply, and you experience them, with much greater sensitivity. So the normal challenges with the normal stresses in life and the normal joys in life, the more normal, beautiful things in life.

Just a touch you, to a much greater extent or you have a much greater emotional response to those things. Well then it kind of make sense why those people will be more predisposed to seeking something external to their body that would help them avoid or escape or numb those emotions. If those negative emotions, you know, if a normal person has a challenge in their life and they’re, you know, they’re emotionally touched at this level and somebody else is much more sensitive and it affects them at this level, then it would make sense why that person would be predisposed to those addictive tendencies. Because a lot of the substances and the behaviors that we, that become addictive are those things that help us numb that pain or lessen that pain a little bit. So it makes sense why there’d be a tight correlation between that.

So biological, certainly one thing and then by a biology can also be affected by things that you know, that affect us though going through life experiences affects the way that our body and our brain reacts or, or operates a traumatic experience is something that, you know, when somebody is experiencing post traumatic stress disorders, now they’re experiencing abnormal responses to normal stimuli. So their brain reacts abnormally, in, in that threat response and the cortisol and the adrenaline response to something that should be a normal stimuli. So now they, they’re having, you know, biological influences and neuro-biological influences that make them more likely to become addicted because again, their, their stares response, their sensitivity is much different than other people. There’s also sociological influences.

So we got biological, sociological influences. This has to do with the way that we feel connected to other people. There’s a very basic human need for connection, just as real as our need for water and for food and anything else that we need for our survival. We have this very real need for connection and the way that we are connected to other people in our community, in our society affects our ability or it can lead us to, to addictive tendencies or addicted behaviors. Now this could be because of trauma that’s happened in her life, could be because of developmental trauma. It could be because we didn’t grow up or we weren’t in a very nurturing or loving environment, or we always felt like there was a chance that our needs weren’t going to be met.

So it has certain sociological implications or effects and these things can influence or lead us towards a lead to a person towards addicted behaviors. Also be psychological. So the way that we’re dealing with could be a mental health issue, but just, just general, emotions or psychological issues that people face in their life, whether it’s anxiety, whether it’s depression, whether it’s a consequences of anything as biological or sociological. A lot of these, you know, there’s four different categories, but a lot of the things, overlap or are one thing might trigger or affect something in different categories. The last one being spiritual. So our understanding of the world of who we are and how we relate, and a higher, a higher power, a higher purpose, and our sense of meaning, meaning in the things that we’re doing and the things that we’re engaged in, that all kind of falls under spiritual. So there’s many different reasons or many different areas of contributing factors. But for each individual that struggled with addiction or substance use disorder, there’s a different combination. So there’s not one answer, it’s not one thing. and that’s actually a huge myth that affects so many people and it’s really killing a lot of people and preventing a lot of people from getting the help that they need because they buy into this idea that there is one reason that people become addicted.

And that’s actually absolutely not true. So this, the short answer is many things. There’s many reasons that people would become addicted to the real answer. You know, it’s a some combination of effects or influences that are biological, psychological, sociological or spiritual. And to that point, the only way to move beyond those addictive behaviors and find a life in recovery, a successful life in recovery is to address factors across all of those areas. Many programs they might focus in on one or two areas, one or two of those four areas and because it’s only focusing on some, on a narrow area or one or two areas it completely ignores or doesn’t address underlying factors, underlying issues that could be outside the realm of what they’re focused on.

So the best a recovery approach, the best way to approach recovery is looking at it holistically and finding a way to address and identify issues across the board so that if you’re unique combination of life events and life circumstances and contributing factors, are spread out among those four areas. Bio-psychosocial and spiritual will, that your program has a way to address those needs in all those areas. Cause if you’re only focusing on one, you’re only focusing on two, you have a tremendous vulnerability that anything could be upset in those other areas and it would jeopardize your recovery or your journey.

So hope that helps. Please share this video with anybody that needs to hear it. If you have any more questions, you can always send me you can comment in this video below or send me an email or find me on my website, thriving in your recovery.com hope you enjoy it and you’ll be well.

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