What Are The Causes Of Substance Abuse?

With millions of people struggling with drug use disorder across the United States, you may wonder what the causes of substance abuse are. Understanding the causes of substance abuse is critical to know how to fight it. As you make your journey to sobriety, it’s important to have a full understanding of the underlying causes of substance abuse and seek therapy to deal with these factors.

What Are The Causes Of Substance Abuse?

People who end up with a substance use disorder do so for a variety of reasons. Let’s explore some of the more common reasons.

Mental Health Disorders

For many people, drug use begins because of undiagnosed mental health issues. Sometimes this undiagnosed or misdiagnosed issue evolves into a mild mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety. It could also mean that more serious mental health challenges are a factor. People who are struggling with mental health conditions sometimes use drugs to self-medicate. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to a substance use disorder or drug abuse over time.

Past Unresolved Trauma

Another reason people may self-medicate is that they are dealing with past unresolved trauma. If you’ve been through a traumatic incident in your past and never dealt with it, you may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb to memories and the pain. Childhood abuse and neglect may cause trauma to a person that will affect them in adulthood.

Environmental and Genetic Connection Are Causes of Substance Abuse

The scientific community has found a link among family members who abuse a substance. The likelihood of you developing a substance use disorder is greater if you have family members who do. However, they haven’t discovered what gene, if any, is the cause of the connection. One theory is that having a family member who abuses drugs predisposes you to have a similar problem in the future.

Another theory is that their environment also shapes people. If drug use is a common occurrence in your environment growing up, then you may end up using drugs too.

Dependence or Tolerance of Prescription Drugs

When delving into the causes of substance abuse, it’s critical to look at how legal, prescription drugs play a part too. When your doctor prescribes a narcotic medication for pain, there is a chance you could become addicted to them. First, you may develop a tolerance to the dose you’re on. As you increase the dosage, your body develops a dependence on them. If you try to stop taking them abruptly, you’ll experience uncomfortable symptoms.

These are a few of the causes of substance abuse. Young people may have an additional reason. Peer pressure is a likely factor that they start using drugs and consequently become addicted. Whatever the reasons may be for substance abuse, there is hope for recovery with proper treatment.

Welcome to Casa Palmera

At Casa Palmera, you’ll meet our compassionate staff of experienced doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists. These individuals help you in your quest for a sober, rewarding life. They will guide your journey to healing by personalizing your treatment.

Each person receives his or her own assigned medical doctor, licensed psychiatrist, and substance abuse counselor. During treatment, you will also have a treatment plan with specific therapies that will help. We have a variety of therapy options designed to meet the various needs of the client. Some of these therapies include:

Take the first step in your recovery by verifying your insurance. We are in-network with a variety of insurance agencies, such as Cigna, Anthem, Blue Cross, and Aetna.

Don’t let addiction take over your life. Now that you know the causes of substance abuse reach out for the help you need. So contact us today, and we’ll get you on the pathway to healing.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.