The level of stress in our daily lives has dramatically increased over the past few years. An unfortunate result of this situation is the fact that a greater number of individuals suffer from a variety of chemical addictions than ever before. This disease does not discriminate; instead targeting children, adolescents and adults with equally devastating effects. One has to look no further than to peruse some of the latest news articles to appreciate the impact that this situation has had.

Some of the Main Causes of Chemical Addiction

Chemical dependencies are rooted in a variety of factors; some purely psychological while others may be inherited or be a combination of environment and upbringing. This is the so-called "nature versus nurture" position. As recovery revolves around determining such causes, it is important to peruse some of the most common.

Stress can be a major contributing factor, as drugs and alcohol may represent a welcome escape from the rigours of everyday life. However, more and more of these substances need to be consumed over time and this will therefore lead to a powerful addiction.

It has been shown that children who are raised in homes where one or both parents display similar addictions are much more likely to develop dependencies when they become older.

The environment plays an important role. Adolescents and adults who are surrounded by situations where drugs and alcohol are present have an increased chance to develop habits of their own. This is the co-called "peer pressure" position.

Many studies have shown that some individuals have a natural genetic predisposition to developing chemical addictions. This will be exacerbated if the child is raised in an environment that provides easy access to these substances.

A fundamental lack of self-esteem and solitude also seem to heavily contribute to addictive personalities. These are both learned behaviours, so it is also important to address such factors early in life.

Summarily, some of the major causes are:
  • Coping mechanisms due to stress.
  • Parenting habits.
  • Environmental exposure.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Solitude and low self-esteem.

Treatment Options

Addressing this illness tends to be very flexible in its nature. Different cases will require different approaches although all are first centred around breaking the physical dependency. In the most severe cases, this may involve hospitalization in an inpatient facility until the chemicals are removed from the body. Subsequently, there are a variety of options.

As the roots of substance abuse are often psychological, counselling and therapeutic sessions are a mainstay of the industry. These "rehab" clinics provide powerful tools along the road to recovery. This can help give the sufferer the initial clarity and insight needed to understand what had caused their problem.

Should a patient have used a drug such as cocaine or heroin, chemicals such as methadone may be administered to help alleviate the often times traumatic withdrawal symptoms. These same substances can also help lower the chances of returning to use after the patient is discharged.

Education is essential. Addicts will be made aware of the dangers that drugs and alcohol pose to their physical and emotional health. Such information is often provided by trained counsellors as well as previous sufferers that have since recovered.

Social support is critical for recovery and therefore programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are considered proven techniques that help foster personal recovery, communication and interpersonal strength. Although these are offered during rehab stays, anyone can attend these meetings free-of-charge and under no obligation.

In summary, some of the most effective options for rehabilitation are:
  • Addiction treatment in an inpatient facility.
  • Psychological counselling.
  • Administration of chemicals such as methadone.
  • Drug and alcohol education.
  • Social support and group therapy sessions.