What Causes Opiate Addiction

causes of opiate addictionWhat drives a person to experiment with taking opiates and then get tangled up into the vicious habit? One integral part of the treatment for opiate addiction is being able to identify triggers and high risk situations that might elicit the craving for taking opiates again. The reason behind how each addict started getting hooked is different and understanding these causes will better the chances of treatment for each addict and help keep them on track.

So what makes them do it? The initial cause of the opiate addiction is the choice that the person makes to take the drug. But what factors influenced this choice? Here are some of the identified causes of opiate addiction:

  • There are certain biological reasons that can predispose a person to becoming addicted to opiates. Some people are inborn with a deficit for the neurotransmitter for endorphins and the inability of the body to produce this substance for the natural relief of pain makes these individuals look for substitutes which makes them turn to opiates. There are also some addicts who have become dependent on opiates because they have had health problems since they were young and opiates offer the physical relief from the pain that they experience because of their illness.
  • Heredity or genetics greatly affects the likelihood of being addicted to opiates. It has been found that if a person has a first degree relative who has an addiction then it is very likely that a person will develop a form of addiction in the future. Though genetics is found to be one of the reasons why people get addicted, it is not automatic that a child of an addict will become an addict, the choice is still yours to make.
  • Psychological factors such as mental illness can cause opiate addiction. When a person has a psychological or mental disorder, they may think that taking opiates can somehow relieve the symptoms of their illness and make things better. There are also some who get hooked on opiates in an attempt to self-medicate because they are unaware that there is an underlying mental illness that is influencing them to do so. The anti-depressive and anti-psychotic quality of opiates produces the feeling of euphoria to people with psychological problems. This offers a break from their mental distress which is why opiates become very attractive to them.
  • Probably the most common reason why people start taking opiates is because of environmental factors. Any issues that a person may have with their relationships with family and peers can lead a person to addiction. Most people feel that the high that they get from opiates offer momentary relief from all the stress and troubles that they go through every day.
  • There are also some patterns of behaviour that has been found consistent among those who are addicted to opiates. It has been found that people with low self-esteem, with poor coping mechanisms, those with fear of failure, those who are impulsive, and those who have low frustration tolerance have the tendency to be addicted with opiates.

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