Welcome to the website of ...... 

The South African Anti Drug Team

 

                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Return to Index

Why do People use Drugs:

 

If not that serious send me an confidential e-mail: info@thesouthafricanantidrugteam.org.za

 

Some Reasons Why People Use Drugs

 

Many people have never experienced addiction of any sort. For these people it can be very hard to understand and grasp the logic behind drug abuse. But with drug use getting more and more prevalent in South Africa, itís now common for people to dig deeper and look for the reasons why people use drugs. This is not meant to be a complete list, nor is is meant to be medical advise, but I feel this article can shed some light for addicts or family members of addicts dealing with this burning questionÖ

 

This list has been compiled from 13 years of personal experience watching my close family member struggle with the darkest moments of addiction. Many times I asked and prodded to get answers from my sister who was addicted to drugs. She didnít always have the answers - but she still taught me. The important thing that I learned is that drugs alter the thinking patterns in your brain which can distort logic and rationality. Therefore an addict may not fully understand what a sober person can. So most of my analysis came from observing her behaviors. So here is my list regarding the reasons why people use drugs and alcohol.

 

1. People suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or other mental illnesses use drugs and alcohol to ease their suffering.
Mental illness is such a burden for some people they will try just about anything to relieve the pain. Drugs or alcohol can temporarily make that person feel Ďnormalí again, like they remember feeling in the past. Mental illness is scary for the individual experiencing it, so they are afraid to go to a doctor or family member for help and instead turn to drugs or alcohol to try and solve the problem on their own.

 

2. People see family members, friends, role models or entertainers using drugs and rationalize that they can too.
As teenagers and young adults, itís very easy to think that drug and alcohol use can be handled and controlled, especially if they see others they know doing the same thing. It can become easy to rationalize like: Ďhey my friendís been doing this for a couple years and he seems fine to me.í Entertainment and music is full of drug references and that can add to the rationalization that drug use is ok sometimes. Individuals with a family history of drug or alcohol abuse are far more likely to develop an addiction than an individual with no family background of addiction.

 

3. People become bored and think drugs will help.
Boredom is a big factor in drug abuse in teens and young adults. People in this age bracket generally donít have bills, jobs and all the stresses that go along with adulthood. So itís easier to become bored and want to try something new and exciting. Drug use is often thought of as a way to escape the mundane world and enter an altered reality.

 

4. People think drugs will help relieve stress.
Our modern world is full of new strains and stresses that humans have never experienced in the past. Although many things in life are now easier than ever, the burdens are also very high. Simply having a family, maintaining a household, and holding a job are huge stress factors. Some drugs are viewed as a means of relaxation Ė a way to calm the storm in your mind. Although drugs can be very effective at doing that, there can be serious side effects.

 

5. People figure if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it must be ok.
It is easy for an individual to rationalize using a drug because it came from a doctor. The thinking goes like this Ďit was prescribed to someone I know for the same problem I am having, so it makes sense it should work for me too.í  The dangerous part about this rationalization is that this can lead to mixing of drugs, overdose, unintended side effects and/or dependency.

 

6. People get physically injured and unintentionally get hooked on prescribed drugs.
The people at risk for this are physical laborers, elderly, and anyone with pre-existing injuries. Some people are born with chronic pain due to deformities - others get injured. Doctors then prescribe drugs for what they are intended for and a person can quickly build a dependency. Especially if that drug is making them feel all better, they rationalize that it must be ok to keep taking the drug, which can result in dependency.

 

7. People use drugs to cover painful memories in their past.
Many people go through extremely traumatic events in their life, many times as children, and turn to drugs to cover the horrible memories. Children are extremely susceptible to trauma, whether physically or emotionally, and those feelings can haunt them into their adulthood. These people could benefit from working with psychologists to help repair their damaged mind. Drugs usually only deepen the issue.

 

8. People think drugs will help them fit in.
When hanging out with friends, itís easy for people to want to fit in and seem like one of the crew. If others are drinking or doing drugs, itís very likely for someone to fall into that trap. Peer pressure can be a tremendous force causing someone to try things they would normally not try on their own.

 

9. People chase the high they once experienced.
Ask anyone who has tried drugs and they will tell you that it is one of the best feelings of their life. The highs from drugs are so much more extreme than regular everyday joys because most drugs overload the pleasure sensors in your brain. Once a person feels this extreme pleasure, itís common for that person to become hooked on a drug simply chasing the initial high they once felt. As we all know, this is a viscous cycle that is extremely difficult to break. The highs are equally as powerful as the lows felt when coming off of the drugs.

NB:  Common reasons why people use drugs:

 1.   They do not have strong willpower.

 2.   They do not have a stable character.

 3.   They tend to live in a tunnel - view life.

 4.   They lie constantly to protect their pride.

 5.   They do not want to accept that they need help..

 6.   They develop liver, heart, asthma or lung problems.

 

 

THIS PAGE TOP