7 Forces That Drive People to Substance Abuse

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While people make choices everyday that lead them toward drug addiction, no one dreams of becoming an addict. Understanding why people start doing drugs can help them avoid a potentially deadly heroin addiction or the need to drink alcohol for breakfast. Substance abuse happens to all types of people, and once the actual addiction starts, it’s tough to break without assistance. 

Social Acceptance

Some people cannot feel comfortable at a social gathering without a drink in their hand. Drugs and alcohol can let people feel like they will be accepted by others. When we see people on TV or in the movies drink or do drugs at a social event, they tend not to have any problems. In the real world, this is not the case. Drinking and doing drugs at social events often leads to people doing drugs thanks to a burgeoning addiction. 

Fitting In With the Cool Crowd

Another common reason for people to try addictive substances is peer pressure. This is different from people needing to drink while at a social event, because those people are choosing to partake on their own. With peer pressure, people drink or do drugs because a peer is pressuring them to do so. This tends to happen more frequently with teens, but the problem can lead to addiction in adulthood. 


People will choose drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate to deal with mental health issues or other personal problems. While drugs and alcohol can reduce issues for a few moments, it can cause more problems in the long run. 

Stress Reduction

Drugs and alcohol can help people reduce stress, but drinking and doing drugs will only increase stress. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people experience stress, and many do not know how to manage it. Working with a therapist or turning to mindfulness, exercise, or yoga are better solutions, but all too often, people turn to drugs and alcohol for an immediate release. 

Managing Grief

Dealing with grief is a challenge that most people will experience. There are healthy ways to manage grief, but some people decide to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. Rather than turning to drugs or alcohol, it’s better to work with a grief counselor. 

For Fun

Some people exist to break rules, so they must try illegal drugs. It’s true that many drugs provide a feeling of euphoria, which only adds to the thrill people get when they intentionally choose to break rules. Unfortunately, doing drugs to break rules often comes with a tried-and-true rule: drugs are addictive. People who continually enjoy the euphoria of breaking rules and doing drugs will eventually land them in rehab, a hospital, or jail. 

Fighting Boredom

Boredom might seem like an odd reason to do drugs, but it happens – often to people in recovery. Drugs and alcohol provide an escape from boredom, but it can come with a cost – addiction. Rather than drinking or doing drugs, try a new hobby or go for a walk. 



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