Why Drugs Are So Addictive

Drug addiction is a common term used to describe a person who is attached to drugs in a very abnormal manner. The word addiction from a grammatical perspective means unhealthy dependency. However, it holds a very heavy meaning. Addiction is another word for enslavement because you become a slave to your desire of wanting something that may or may not be good for you. With that being said, our main focus for today would be on why are drugs so addictive and the underlying causes behind addiction.

No person ever wakes up thinking that they will do drugs and decides that they will from now on make it an obsession in their lives. The perimeters between the sober side and the stupefied side are drastically different from what we perceive it to be. The ideology behind a drug addict undermines the fact that they are people with emotions too. A lot of people often choose to forget that and come across them in such a manner that it makes them feel even worse. So many times teenagers as young as 15 either get abandoned or leave their homes on their own will because of drug addiction. The outcome of drug addiction is undoubtedly the worst living standard that a person could ever think of even in their wildest imaginations.

However, have you ever came across thinking, why do people get addicted to drugs so immensely and can’t get out of it? What could the reason behind the attachment over something so intoxicating and harmful? How to Overcome Drug Addiction? The answer lies in science. A lot of researches have been studying the underlying causes of drug addiction. Endless amounts of researches have been made on this particular topic to figure out what triggers a person to keep on going back to drugs.

What does Drug Addiction mean?

Drug Addiction is a term comprehensive to the world today that describes it as an unhealthy dependency over drugs. This is not only a term but rather categorized as a disease that is characterized by the over-usage of drugs that leads one to the horrors of losing mental and physical abilities. Drug Addiction is certified as one of the hardest obsession to overcome because of the intoxicating nature of drugs and what it does to a human mind. The consequences of drug addiction are extremely dangerous even though it is hard to control.

Even though many people choose to believe that drug addiction is something that a person authorizes when their mental and emotional health is disrupted. Often, that may not be the case as there are several reports which say that the decision to take drugs is often found as voluntary. However, the majority of drug addiction cases stem from mental health complexities or emotional traumas that the victim faces. The consumption of drugs is, however, is a voluntary choice. Nevertheless, repeating drug consumption can trigger the brain to have changed so the crave for it ascends in the addicted person. This disrupts a person’s ability to take control over themselves and makes them vulnerable to resist extreme urges for drug intake. This completely enables the ability of a person to think from a healthy perspective and have their brain working like a normal person. The effects that drugs leave on a human brain are outrageous and the changes it faces may remain forever. Part of the reason why drug addiction is termed as a deteriorating disease that is uncontrollable. This is why people who are on the recovery stage at a higher risk of falling back into drug intake even when they have not touched it for years. As strange as it sounds, the recurrence of craving drugs to the extreme is commonly seen in many cases. However, treatment does help a person overcome this.

What triggers the brain to get addicted to drugs?

The question may be very simple however the answer is a little complex to comprehend. The cause for the activation of addiction towards drugs relies on a branch of biological, psychological, and environmental causes which we will talk about. To fully understand the reason why drugs are known to be addictive, you would require to learn about the neurological and biological effects that it leaves in the human brain. We all know that the brain has natural sensors to pleasure and releases certain hormones as a response to happiness. These hormones are dopamine and serotonin. The brain releases dopamine whenever a person goes through a pleasurable moment or thinks of something that satisfies their mind such as meeting their favorite person, receiving gifts, reminiscing a memory or thinking something good, etc. Inclined to these events, surprisingly, drug ingestion also releases high levels of dopamine.

This is where psychology comes into play. The heavy release of dopamine from the brain indicates a person that drugs could be the only way to feel pleasure. However, this can be hallucinogenic as the person is also aware of the physical damages it may cause. Our brains have parts that work with our subconscious mind. Therefore, when the brain releases high dopamine levels due to drugs, our subconscious mind notes it down. The brain then relies on drugs for this dopamine release, which triggers the mind to crave more of these drugs. As the dosages of the drugs get higher the more we feel euphoric.

The next stage that the drug consumer’s next faces are the euphoria, widely known as “high” by the public. The heavy release of dopamine from the brain, our subconscious mind, and euphoria are inclined to one another in terms of addiction. Euphoria is a label to describe a feeling that makes a person think with their subconscious mind. This stage does not allow one to think with their conscious mind but rather expresses the subconscious side of our mind much more loudly. Alcohol has a similar effect too, this is why when people normally get drunk or “high” they say things that don’t quite make sense or sometimes say things that they mean but could never express while they were sober.

The effects of drugs on the brain

Why do people get addicted to drugs is a question that remains unsolved to a non-addicted person’s theory. Because there is no common line for comparison between how their minds work. However, on the contrary, there is an explanation that comprehends the domineering disease to a sober person. As we all know that our bodies are dependent on hormones and our brain is in control of it as most cases. When our brain gets used to a certain routine it gets very hard for it to recover to the original routine on its own. For instance, jet lagging. Quite similar to that but a lot extreme, an addicted person’s brain gets dependent on those heavy amounts of dopamine release. When the addicted person is deprived of drugs their brain gets dysfunctional. This is why many people often face extreme shivering, chronic fever, and sometimes even fall unconscious as the brain cannot function to signal the other parts of the body to work.

There are long term effects of drugs such as:

  • Extreme Weight loss
  • Communication Difficulty
  • Problems judging certain things, places, or events.
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of understanding
  • Brain Damage
  • Cancer

Major underlying causes of drug addiction

Half of the population in the current world believe that drug addiction is a type of mental illness or brains diseases. On the other half claims, this is as a scientific cause due to the changes in the hormones in the brain which roots the urge for drug intake.

While the truth lies in each of the arguments. The reason for this relapsing disease is corresponding to scientific and mental changes in a person. Both theories suggest a logical explanation of why it occurs. The underlying causes on this context could vary on the following factors:

  • Mental and Environmental changes or influences: As much as it is an overrated cause but the truth in this cause is in high measures. Our surroundings are what we face on our day to day lives and that is something that has a huge influence on our activities and our perception of viewing ideas. Therefore, if a negative environment that has mentally disturbed them surrounds a person then it is more likely that they will choose to drug themselves or consume alcohol. Such negativity may also include trauma, abuse, financial insecurity, depression, and so on, so forth.
  • Scientific causes: Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco have a heavy impact on the hormonal changes in the brain. Consumption of such things triggers dopamine and serotonin, also referred to as the happy hormones. The neurotransmitters inside the brain also get heavily affected by the consumption of drugs. However, not all drug consumers get addicted to the extreme and some get extreme with their obsession. The reason for this can be because of biological factors such as gender, inherited genes, race, ethnicity, and severe mental illnesses.

Other commonly noticed causes for drug addiction could be:

  • Depression Peer pressure
  • Stress
  • Negative influences
  • Trauma
  • Bipolar Disorder


The question “Why drugs are so addictive” will generally not make sense to a person who’s never had taken drugs or doesn’t possess enough knowledge over this certain topic. It is the most difficult question to answer however, if you have read this article then you must now have a full idea of why it happens. The causes and the science behind it could be many but it is rather up to a person who would voluntarily choose to intake drugs or would resist themselves.

Mental health does play a huge role in this and the factors that must be considered taking a look at. Such as abandonment issues, childhood traumas, depression, losing a job, finances, failing exams, or a tragic departure of a loved one.

All of these can not only provoke drug intake but also may lead to suicidal thoughts and death. On the contrary, the good news is you can combat these with treatment.