Understand What Causes Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

This guide is written by Zoe Colver and may include views or opinions that are not endorsed by rehabs.asia.

Zoe suffered from severe addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs. She has been clean for 3 years after completing long-term inpatient care at a rehab center in Thailand.


What Effect Do Drugs Have on the Mind? What about Alcohol Addiction?

As we focus on the consequences and causes of drug addiction in this article, you should know that the same also applies to alcohol addiction. So drug addiction and alcoholism can be used interchangeably. Keeping this in mind, let’s discuss what happens when you are addicted to drugs.


Drugs are dangerous; they impede your ability to think clearly. They prevent you from knowing what’s happening or being aware of your surroundings. The effects of drug use are long lasting, and they can persist for years after you think you have finally shaken off the addiction.

Drugs can play with your mind and manipulate your thinking. They create this promise of reward in the mind, can make you delirious with joy, which is why you want to have more of the drug. You will crave it although you know in your heart that it can destroy your life

Substance abuse can chemically alter the mind and the normal functioning of the body. They make you less self-aware, affect your consciousness and play havoc with your ability to think clearly. When you start taking drugs, it is difficult to be totally aware of what’s going on.

You don’t relate to the sequence of events as they are happening in reality. You will make a series of unexplainable mistakes, which border on insanity. What is apparent to you will be totally different from what is apparent to other people. Your sense of reality is lost and you have little idea of what’s going on in your life.

Why Do People Get Addicted to Drugs?

There are many reasons why we can get addicted to drugs despite knowing very well about the dangers of drug use. Perhaps you have a certain discomfort in your life, anger or are deeply hurt about something.

You want to “fit in” with your group, have this strong sense of anxiety because of peer pressure or pressure at the workplace. Maybe you have identity issues and are struggling to come to terms with your sexuality. Or you have been through a bitter divorce or breakup. You could also be suffering from a serious injury or chronic pain.

You have this serious discomfort and want a solution for it. You find your present life to be unbearable. Sure, everyone goes through such problems at some level. But only a few take to drugs as a solution.

Drug addiction always starts off as a problem, as a serious discomfort or as some sort of deep emotional or physical pain. You will find it extremely painful to deal with.

When you first get addicted to drugs, you may think nothing wrong about it, and believe that you are in control. But gradually the addiction starts consuming you and plays havoc with your life. You will experience serious discomfort which you cannot understand, which you find hard to resolve and cannot confront.

Problems Related to Drug Addiction

You have probably tried drugs or alcohol because they have appeared to solve your problem. Initially, yes, they do actually seem to solve some problems – they make you forget what’s bothering you, offer relief from some of the stress that you are feeling, and makes you feel better.

So, you continue to take the drug, and it becomes more and more important to you.

You start looking upon the drug as a way to get all the things you wanted but couldn’t have. The drug starts becoming a solace to you and a solution to your discomfort.

Soon, you become fully addicted and you no longer have the ability to control your drug use. The drug addiction eventually becomes excessive and habit forming, it soon becomes a source of your discomfort and depression.

Young man smoking drugs

The Addiction Gets Serious

Your addiction to drugs at this stage catches on and becomes obsessive. As an addicted person, you have this sense of being trapped, and having nowhere to go.

The problem you set out to solve by resorting to drug use is no longer important to you. All you want at this point is to get your supply of the drug, in any way you can. You lose your ability to think, control your usage and complete ignore the terrible consequences of your actions.

Need help finding treatment in Asia? We can help you!

How Drugs Affect Your Behavior

When you first start using drugs, you will try very hard to hide your addiction from your friends and family members. You will feel the pressure of your lies and dishonesty, and become withdrawn; even unreasonable. You might start behaving in an unusual manner.

The more you resort to drugs or to alcohol abuse, the guiltier you will feel, the worse you will feel. This leads to depression and other psychological conditions.

You will face a loss of credibility, your relationships with friends and family members suffer, and you will become more and more depressed over time. You might even suffer from serious financial damage. Your savings will be gone and you will get into debt, trying to get more drugs.

The drug will become the single most important thing in your life. Nothing will matter, except getting your daily supply of the drug. Your relationships suffer, your marriage suffers, work suffers and your life will go horribly wrong.


Alcohol and Drug Tolerance

When you succumb to drug addiction, your body will have adapted itself to the drug. This is the same with alcohol addiction. You will experience a strong urge to get and use drugs, no matter what and will do anything to make sure that you get them.

Staying away from the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms which are painful and disturbing. You will have a constant craving for drugs. They give you the pleasure you seek and help you avoid the physical pain of the withdrawal.

Your body adapts itself to the foreign chemicals and cannot function without them. The drugs will have changed you both physically and mentally.

The more you take the drug, your body develops a tolerance for the it, which affects your ability to get on a high. By now, the drug use becomes as normal as breathing the air and you cannot live without it.

Need Help? Confidential Advice Available 24/7 from Rehab Specialists

Drugs and Personality Change

The drug use can bring about serious personality changes. It can change your behavior completely, and soon you will be developing hostility and hatred towards those who prevent you in any way from getting access to the drug – even towards your family and friends. You will lose all sense of proportion and will begin to hate the world at large. This could so easily descend into a life of crime.

A drug addict has the following personality traits….

  • Suffers from mood swings.
  • Is unreliable and cannot complete any work.
  • Is perpetually dishonest and lies to everyone, to friends, family and employers.
  • Withdraws into a shell and pushes away those who love them.
  • Enters into a self-imposed isolation.
  • Is seriously depressed.
  • Begins stealing from own family and friends.
Trauma woman hands on face graphic

The Cycle of Addiction

When the addict finally takes the decision to quit, disgusted by his behavior, the cells in his brain will have gotten so used to the drug that they start demanding for him to give more of the drug. There is this biological craving for the drug that develops, and no amount of self-control or discipline can help you when this happens.

Drug or alcohol craving is extremely dangerous. It is a powerful urge that compels you to create all sorts of reasons to start drinking or use alcohol again. You are now trapped in a vicious cycle of trying your best to quit, but being unable to. Your brain craves the drug, and every time you make a serious attempt to give up the drug, you will suffer a relapse and start having the drug again.

This is a vicious cycle, the addiction feeds on itself and it is very difficult to break the hold that drugs have over your mind and body without seeking our professional help.

There are two reasons why addicts cannot break off their habit. One there is a strong physical and mental craving caused by the drug residue in the body. Two, there is a biochemical reaction set in the brain by the drug use.

When these factors are not treated professionally, with the help of qualified therapists and addiction specialists, things get worse and worse. This makes your life impossible and imposes an extraordinary amount of stress you and you simply cannot bring yourself to say no to the drug on a permanent basis.

Yes, you will say no to the drug use on numerous occasions, but eventually you will succumb to the temptation and the vicious cycle begins all over again. That is why seeking out professional help from trained addiction specialists is so important.

How Rehab Can Put an End to Your Drug Cravings

When you start taking drugs, the drug metabolites get absorbed by the body and cannot be detected in the blood or urine just 3 days after the drug use. However, the drug metabolites accumulate in the fatty tissues and remain there for years. They become toxic and extremely dangerous over time.
That’s why you need to go through a comprehensive program.


Why go to rehab? Simple…

  1. It reduces or eliminates your cravings for drug or alcohol.
  2. It helps you think more clearly.
  3. It gives you the energy boost you need and improves your memory and attention span.
  4. It improves your sense of well being and builds your enthusiasm towards life.
  5. It solves many of the symptoms related to drug addiction, such as anxiety and depression, fatigue and irritability.



If you are looking for treatment for addiction or co-occurring mental health issues for yourself or for a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Rehabs.asia. We’ll be happy to help out!

Images provided under Creative Commons CC0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment