It is a well known fact that substance abuse is a universal trend. People of all nations, ethnicity and demographics have been found to overuse pleasurable substances. Whatever is considered a healthy amount of use by experts, people are known to multiply it to an unreasonable extent and overindulge in the substance even to the point of putting themselves and others in danger. In observing these behaviors, it seems that it would be obvious to everyone not to engage in them. Then why is substance abuse such a common problem? The reasons are varied.
Substance abuse can be a psychological problem. A person may over use substances such as drugs and alcohol to numb a mental disorder, such as anxiety or depression, or a past trauma, or stress and anger management issues. Indulging in substances allow people to escape temporarily from reality by altering their perception, making them a very popular and desirable way of coping. If this practice is sporadic and reserved for rare occasions, it is generally harmless. But if someone truly begins to depend on a substance in order to cope with life, chances are they are making a substance abuse problem out of a psychological problem.
Substance abuse can also be an environmental problem, meaning the substance abuser was heavily influenced by one person or multiple people who were also substance abusers. This is a very common cause of a substance abuse problem. People from everywhere emulate what they see their elders doing and very often grow up to do the same things. Substance abuse is frequently a learned behavior.
And lastly, substance abuse can be attributed to some people’s biologies. People are diagnosed with conditions of mysterious origins – chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders – with symptoms that are not always manageable. People will often try to manage the symptoms of their conditions on their own, by turning to illicit or recreational drugs and alcohol. Or, they will begin to abuse their prescription medications and take them in excess. Substances can provide people with enjoyment, relaxation and relief, but when they are used to excess and begin to cause new problems, they are a substance abuse issue.