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Old 12-16-2008, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the Cause of Addiction?


Is addiction genetic? Does emotional trauma cause addiction? Is addiction really a disease or is it a way to deal with the problems of today brought on by over-population and a technologically advanced lifestyle.

If addiction is something fostered by trauma and overstimulation in our world, it would seem we could take steps to decrease the problems associated with addiction. Personally, I think certain trauma in our lives is at least a big factor in why addiction exists.

Is addiction caused by something else entirely?
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello, Anton. Welcome to SR!

I don't know why I have addiction problems....but I certainly do, and I can only hope to be able to manage them well in the time to come.

My guess would be that numerous factors can contribute to addiction...certain environmental elements and genetics...

Maybe I was just unlucky at one point in time and that set it off....or perhaps there was always a good chance this would happen? Who knows...

Whatever the cause(s), I have to deal with it now. I'm a slow learner.

Keep reading and posting.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Anton

If you follow this link http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html It will take you to the heading on here under Alcoholism, and the thread called excerpts from under the influence, it has some wonderful information on exactly what you have asked.

Have a great day :bounce
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Anton,

I'm not sure the reason is entirely known. It can be genetics which I think could be my case but it could also be a social factor. I just really liked the way it made me feel so I wanted to feel like that all the time. I didn't really drink for 40 of my 49 years but once I started it continually got worse meaning I needed more and more to get the same effects. I think this is a question that most alcoholics ask and would really like an answer. There si stickies with some excerpts from "Under the Influence" which has some good theorys.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've often wondered the same thing. When I was growing up, my dad was a high functioning alcoholic I guess. He probably drank almost every night after work, but still managed to make a very good living. He never lost his job or got a DUI. He supported 4 kids through Catholic school & college, & my mom was a homemaker, but in my mind he was an alcoholic. I hated every minute of it, but now what did I turn out to be?? I'm an alcoholic. I have 3 brothers. One is an alcoholic. One is addicted to pot, & the third brother is very normal. He has a few beers now & then, but it's never an issue for him. We grew up with my dad & uncles drinking right in front of us, so is it genetic or is it what you grow up with?? I think it's a combo of both. I really think an addictive personality is genetic, but I often wonder what it would have been like if I didn't grow up with it right under my nose & being exposed to it all the time. I don't know if I'll ever be able to figure it out. I didn't grow up in a traumatic household. Even now my life is pretty normal, but I still find excuses to drink. I don't have any major issues, but I turn every little issue into an excuse to drink. I don't know if I'll ever figure out why I turned to alcohol. I think everyone's situation is really different.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Our technologically advanced society might play a part for US, but there have been drug addicts and alcoholics in the past and in other cultures. I think many factors contribute to our potential to be prone to addiction, genetics being a big contributor, and still other factors cause us to be active or not in the addiction.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I suggest everyone read this really good Time article a drug counselor sent me, it is really insightful into the whys and hows of addiction from scientific and other standpoints. It is written by a recovering alcoholic who is 26 years sober.

**Oops... it says I have to make at least 15 posts before I link. I will post the link after I have made enough posts.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses, they are all very good. This is something I have put a lot of thought into and I still don't have the answers. I will read up on the suggested link about "Under the Influence".

I can say from personal experience that I used to drink on the weekends and when I worked 40 hours it wasn't a problem, but then when I was forced to work 60 and sometimes even 72 hours a week my drinking on the weekend skyrocketed. When I went back to 40 hours at work my weekend drinking went back to a normal. I think stress made me drink more, plain and simple. Although I don't completely understand the dynamic. Too much stress can probably be equated to pain in the mind, so I would say that pain is the most probable culprit of a person becoming addicted. No matter what the variables are, genetics, environment, upbringing.....mental pain seems to be available to any scenario.

So what causes addiction? I have no idea. People are so very different. I really need to figure this out.

My sister goes to the methadone clinic 6 days a week. She is an addict. I want to help her but she is so messed up from the past drug use and possibly the current drug use. I don't know how to help her. If I can figure this cause of addiction thing out, I think I can save my sister before she kills herself. I have tried everything I can think of and helped her in every way I can but she just gets worse. Years ago, the tough love thing pushed her way farther into drug use and today being nice to her only works if I give her money.

Any direction here would be helpful.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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James13-

I am looking forward to reading the article as alot of other people here probably are too. Will be looking for it. It is one of my obsessions to find out what causes this. I am myself trying to figure out why it took so long to come out in me and others start as teens.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Try not to worry about what causes addiction... focus on what can be done about it.

First step is admitting your addicted. .

Second step is finding the solution.. whatever program you choose.

AA .. the program I use.. The solution is spiritual. and the program is getting rid of what blocks me from the solution.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I know why I started drinking at an early age and it was because of insecurity. Why I became addicted to it I "believe" is I'm wired to become addicted to it. I quickly became addicted to cigarettes and alcohol was quick too. Many of my friends drank, but didn't become alcoholics. I think its a biological difference in my opinion.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would mull this over for nights on end a few years back. Reading medical papers on alcoholism and searching the net for answers.

I didnt have a great childhood with plenty to install feelings of fear and self loathing....luckly i was into the care system by the age of 12.

So i guess theres plenty in there to push me towards "something" to change the way i felt and once i learnt i could shut those feelings down i just kept doing it over and over.

Does it matter?................not really.

Was it the problem?.......probably.

So whats the solution for me?...........move on.

Once i accepted that was my past and i could do nothing to change it...my life started to have a new direction.

The problem.........alcohol.

The solution..........Dont drinking.....one day at a time.

The Benefits.......Endless......trucker
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly View Post
James13-

I am looking forward to reading the article as alot of other people here probably are too. Will be looking for it. It is one of my obsessions to find out what causes this. I am myself trying to figure out why it took so long to come out in me and others start as teens.
Philly- here you go. All I know is that ANYTHING can be a slippery slope for me. Born addict.

This article is GREAT, and really outlines the latest breakthroughs in research about addiction:

How We Get Addicted - TIME


Spirituality and working a program is essential to helping yourself change. No matter how much scientific information we find, it comes back to admitting we have a problem and the addictive behavior exists in us because of US.

I am only 11 days sober, and that is what I think. But I don't really know anything yet. All I know is I can't use today.
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Last edited by James13; 12-18-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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James13, Thanks for your post and the link. And best of luck to you.

I am interested in this topic for various reasons. My sister's serious addiction and her 3 kids who have had a rough life. If there is a way to understand the cause of addiction and stop certain behaviors then I hope to be able to eliminate my nieces and nephew from growing up to follow in their mother's footsteps.

As for my sister, I am lost. I don't think the methadone is helping and I don't know if she will ever be ready to get off drugs. I do have one solid belief and that is that a person has to enter recovery willingly and has to be ready themselves. She was forced when she was younger and that seemed to make her worse afterwards.

I am familiar with NA and AA and I have nothing but respect for that type of treatment because it has always seemed to help people, from my perspective. I don't know if it is good to force people into these programs though. I have seen this and I have seen these "court ordered" people go into the meetings high or drunk. I think voluntary is the only way to go if you want any long term, positive effect.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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In most locations, AA and NA is all there is. I live in Orange County and we have tons and tons of AA meetings. A lot of the meetings are very good and productive. We also have Celebrate Recovery and if you live in the OC, it is at Warren's Church so it is huge,

What we do not have is any non 12-step groups. I could bring one of the groups in the county but I am finding that AA is working for me fine. If you want non 12-step recovery, do it online. There are meetings everyday. Trying to bring the meetings into area requires about 9-12 of sobriety, good presentation skills, and through understanding of REBT psychology. A lay person can easily lead one of the groups but it does take extensive reading to understand all of the concepts of the program.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Anton, in my family, my father was a heavy drinker but I never saw him "drunk", his brother was called "Nip", due to him going thru a bottle of whisky a day. My sister heads for glass of wine within minutes of getting home from work and easily goes thru 2 bottles or more of wine. I have had years of heavily drinking with my xah, and have recently demolished half a bottle of whisky when so distraught I just didn't think about what I was doing. That was the first wipe-out for me in over 30 years.

My abf's family has 4 generations of alcoholics, that abf knows of. His brother doesn't drink at all, says he realised 10 years ago that he was heading down the same road as his dad and abf, so quit without any help.

I have read lots re alcoholism and using that and personal knowledge, I believe that there is a gene that can be passed down, that predisposes towards alcohol disfunction. Precisely how it does, science is still trying to find out.

God bless
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