Practically everyone knows that using drugs like cocaine, heroin, ice, cannabis, and even alcohol have adverse effects on one’s health, among other things. Yet even with this knowledge, far too many people worldwide still abuse and overuse these substances. Why do people take drugs and alcohol?
1. To get high
This is often the reason why people take drugs and alcohol. For all their destructive properties, cocaine, heroin, and the likes all overload the pleasure sensors in the brain of an individual. It’s not a coincidence that people who take drugs often describe being high on drugs as the best sensation they have ever had. Since this kind of high can only be achieved when on drugs, people take more of it to chase that feeling. It also gets worse because eventually, users develop a tolerance to whatever drug they use and are forced to take those drugs in higher doses to get the same kind of high.
2. To relieve stress
Stress is an everyday fact of modern life, and new kinds of stress at work, at school, and everywhere else seem to pop up every single day. Most people can manage stress well enough without resorting to drugs. Unfortunately, there are people who can’t. Since it’s actually true that some drugs—opiates in particular—give a kind of high that gives people some peace of mind for a certain period, it is not surprising that people take them as a way to relax. However, they lose in the long run, because of the serious and long-term side effects of using such substances.
3. Because people around them do
People often rationalise their drug use by saying that friends, members of the family, or even their role models use drugs anyway, so why shouldn’t they? Look at the many celebrities people idolise these days. Musicians fill their recordings with lyrics and messages that say drug use is okay. Actors star in productions that glorify drug use. Worse, many celebrities are actually drug addicts or alcoholics themselves. To many drug users, all that justify their own drug use, thinking it can be handled and controlled, just like the people around them supposedly do.
4. To ease boredom
Teenagers easily get bored, and when this happens, they are likely to try new and exciting things, drug use included. While some would immediately swear off alcohol and illicit drugs after the first try, many would like it the first time, and they would come back for more to escape their mundane existence.
5. To ease suffering brought about by mental disorders
One cannot begin to describe the misery that people who suffer from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental disorders go through every single day. In many cases, these people turn to drugs just to ease their suffering. They’d rather do drugs than seek professional help, and they end up making their condition worse.
6. To forget
We all have had painful and traumatic experiences at one point or another in our lives. Many move on from those memories, but there are those who remain haunted by such experiences to the point where they turn to drugs to forget. Physical and emotional traumas can push one to use drugs to bury those memories deep, but what they really need is professional help, because illicit drugs only make it worse.
7. To relieve pain
When a person suffers an accident or an injury, they are in a world of pain. To ease that pain, doctors prescribe stronger-than-usual painkillers. The problem is, most painkillers are addictive. Patients quickly develop a dependency to opiates and other pain-relieving drugs because they do make them feel better. Even when they’re already better and no longer in pain, they continue taking those drugs and expose themselves to the adverse long-term effects they have on one’s health.
To be clear, this article is not in any way comprehensive medical advice. After all, the reasons people take drugs and alcohol listed above are just a compilation of observations based on personal experience. Let’s just take the preceding list as an attempt to shed some light on the issue for the benefit of friends and families who are at a loss as to why their loved ones is hooked on alcohol and drugs.