Understanding Addiction: Causes and Reasons

HHRC-alcoholism, alcohol addiction and people concept

Addiction is a complex, progressive neurologic illness that is impacted by both environment and genes and is defined by drug use or compulsive behaviors that persist despite detrimental consequences.

For a long time, addiction was defined as an uncontrolled need to use alcohol or other narcotics. Recent changes have allowed it to be expanded to include gambling, drugs, and necessary activities, like exercising and eating.

However, how does addiction actually begin? Why do some people wind up with severe problems while others may take illicit narcotics recreationally with apparently no perceived consequences?

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a persistent brain system failure, including reward, motivation, and memory. Addiction’s about how your body needs a drug or habit, especially if it leads to a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and disregard for consequences.

Addictions may drastically disrupt your daily life over time. People who are addicted are prone to relapse and remission cycles. This implies they may alternate between heavy and light use. Regardless of these cycles, addictions often deteriorate with time. They can result in lasting health concerns and significant repercussions such as bankruptcy.

Types of Addiction

People struggle with a variety of addictions in their daily lives. Addiction is commonly divided into two groups. The first sort of addiction is behavioral addiction, in which you do something physically that causes a chemical release in your brain. Alternatively, the individual may have a substance addiction, which requires them to consume something physically. This addiction may involve drinking alcohol, inhaling narcotics, or using drugs.

Most kinds of addiction may harm crucial relationships, lead to job loss, and result in legal issues. As a result, it is critical to recognize these various addictions and understand their root causes.

What Causes Addiction?

Substance-related and addictive illnesses are complicated and shared and can have severe repercussions for the individual. The reward circuits in the brain are involved in the biochemical mechanisms that produce addiction.

These circuits deliver bursts of happy emotion and feel-good chemicals to “reward” drug usage.

During an addiction condition, the parts of the brain responsible for stress and self-control experience long-term alterations. This adds to the ongoing difficulty of refraining from the addictive chemicals.

Understanding Addiction: Why It Happens

In the beginning, drug usage is frequently consensual. A multitude of situations can lead to the development of a complete addiction. However, during a substance-related condition, the brain alters in ways that might take a long time to restore to a healthy state.

A person whose reward circuitry in the brain has not been changed due to addiction feels happy sensations when engaging in typically rewarding actions such as exercising, spending time with family, or eating excellent cuisine. All of these should make a person happy.

This may inspire a person to repeat these habits to recapture that happy sensation, becoming a primary reason of addiction.

A drug use problem gradually stops producing the same pleasant emotions it previously did. However, if the individual stops taking the medication, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be exceedingly unpleasant.

Individuals frequently find themselves utilizing the substance simply to feel “normal,” which typically means avoiding the unpleasantness of withdrawal symptoms.

An addictive condition can arise due to a combination of these processes and the risk factors for addiction.

How Does Addiction Affect the Brain?

Using drugs and alcohol to control one’s mood can damage the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that controls executive decision-making. This portion of the brain should warn a person about the negative repercussions of such conduct, but addiction hinders its capacity to do so.

Another prominent cause of addiction that affects the brain is the sort of substance used. Opioids, for example, are particularly addictive because they directly target brain receptors.

Many argue that marijuana is less addictive in terms of chemical substance but instead targets the brain’s pleasure and reward regions. More study is needed to back up these statements.

What Causes Addiction to Worsen?

Many people metabolize substances in various ways. Some people, for example, do not need much alcohol to become intoxicated. Others appear to be able to consume large amounts of alcohol without becoming inebriated.

This is frequently associated with age, gender, body weight, and other characteristics.

As part of regularly consuming large amounts of a substance, the body may become accustomed to its effects and metabolize it more efficiently. A person might need more substance to get the same effect as those produced by smaller amounts.

This process is known as tolerance in medicine.

When tolerance rises in tandem with the desire to use a substance to prevent withdrawal symptoms, it frequently suggests developing an addictive condition. If a person does not seek therapy, it might have profound implications.

Understanding Addiction: Its Stages

Addiction frequently manifests itself in stages. Your brain and body’s reactions at the early stages of addiction differ from those during the later stages.

The four stages of addiction are as follows:

  • Experimentation: Using or engaging in something out of curiosity
  • Sociable or Regular: Making use or engaging in social circumstances or for social purposes
  • Problem or Risk: Participating in excessive behavior with no consideration for the repercussions
  • Dependence: Engaging in activities daily or many times each day, despite the possibility of negative repercussions

Understanding Addiction: What Are the Challenges?

Addiction, if not addressed, can have long-term repercussions. These are some of the consequences:

  • Cardiovascular Disease, HIV/Aids, and Neurological Impairment
  • Anxiety, Stress, and Sadness
  • Incarceration and Strained Relationships
  • Bankruptcy and Debt

The consequences of various drugs and activities on a person’s health vary. Serious problems might arise at the end of life due to health issues or social conditions.


Addiction occurs when the desire to use a substance takes over regions of the brain that reward behavior and offer advantages to the body. Substance-related problems also affect the part of the brain in charge of emotions and decision-making. People eventually take a substance not to feel good but to feel “normal” by avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

Other risk factors, such as acute stress, might result in addiction’s behavioral and physical manifestations.

If a loved one is a victim of it, it can be compelling to know how to understand addiction. That’s why it’s essential to understand its root causes and recognize that even though addiction is a common problem, it is a serious one.

Haven House Recovery Is Here for You

Those who continue to take drugs without seeking assistance risk having their lives spin out of control. It is tough to overcome addiction alone, and failing to get treatment will result in a decline in life as one knows it. Luckily, Haven House Recovery exists to help those who are struggling to overcome their addiction habits.

At Haven House Recovery, we work closely with each guest to ensure that their treatment plan is appropriately tailored to their specific requirements.

This enables us to treat visitors more effectively – and to guarantee that you recover completely when you leave us. If you’re looking for rehab centers in Nashville, Haven House Recovery is just around the corner!

Contact us today to find out how we can assist you or someone you care about.