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Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Treatment

Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Causes, Effects, and Treatment

Substance addiction is a harmful behavior that entails taking substances uncontrollably. It emerges from the imbalance of brain chemicals like dopamine and GABA. Drugs like heroin, cocaine, and prescription medications cause the flooding of these chemicals in the brain when taken in high doses. This leads to instant pleasure, and tolerance for the substance is developed over time.

Drug and alcohol addiction has destroyed many lives and potentials. An overdose often ensues, which may leave the patients dead or severely incapacitated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that over 91,000 overdose deaths happened in 2020. The earlier you enroll for treatment, the better the chances of avoiding these dire consequences. If you or someone you care about has a drug and alcohol addiction, contact a medical professional.

Cedar Oaks Wellness Center is a Cincinnati addiction treatment program that offers comprehensive treatment and care.

Addiction Effects and Developing Tolerance

People don’t get addicted to drugs and alcohol all of a sudden. It starts with using the substance illegally. You might take more than the recommended dosage or steal someone else’s prescriptions to feel good and escape reality. Then you’re unable to stop taking the substance because of the effects it creates. At this point, you have become addicted.

Addiction is when the urge to continue using is reinforced. You crave the drug every minute, even though you understand the consequences. Addiction progresses to tolerance. This is where you need to take more doses to maintain the same level of effectiveness or increase it. Tolerance is developed over time.

Individuals suffering from addiction become more tolerant of the drug because of the brain’s reward center. As mentioned, dopamine becomes excess when these illegal drugs and alcohol are ingested. Over time, the brain gets accustomed to this flooding, needing you to take more pills to achieve the same level of effect or even higher. Unfortunately, you realize that things you once found pleasurable no longer excite you.

When you become addicted to drugs and alcohol, it causes brain changes. Your judgment and memory are affected. You do irrational things without properly thinking.

Who’s At Risk of Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

People are different. Some enjoy the feeling the first time they ingest it, while others might experiment and decide never to try it again. Therefore, not everyone becomes addicted to drugs instantly, but anyone can be at risk. It isn’t dependent on age, background, or gender. However, certain circumstances can make one more susceptible to becoming a future addict.

For example, taking drugs in adolescence will make you more likely to suffer an addiction later in life. If you have depression and anxiety, you may rely on drugs and alcohol to feel better. Trauma and abuse may also increase the risk of addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Causes

The causes of addiction are complicated. Some people are fortunate enough to escape addiction, while others become prey to substance abuse.

Below are possible causes:


Experiencing a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse or a natural disaster, can trigger addiction. The person engages in drugs and alcohol to deal with the sad events.

Peer and Societal Influence

Society has normalized drinking, so it may feel weird when you don’t drink. To maintain a good impression in the presence of your colleagues or friends, you try to take a sip.

Friends addicted to drugs and alcohol can also negatively influence you. They can pressure you to try some of the drugs or alcohol. Although the pressure may not be a secret, the desire to fit in will be the encouraging factor. The pressure might become too much to the point that you give in. Sadly, that might just be the beginning of your addiction.


A family with a history of substance abuse will normalize drinking alcohol and taking drugs. You’ll also grow up seeing these as typical. Meanwhile, this dysfunctional behavior will force you to join the addiction bandwagon.


Extremely stressful situations can lead you to take drugs and drink. This behavior is usually employed as a coping mechanism. The euphoria created by the substance acts as a temporary relief, but the feeling can turn into dependence and addiction.

Addiction Signs

If you notice these warning signs, they may indicate you need medical help:

  • Cravings
  • Taking more than the recommended dosage
  • Always in possession of the drug
  • Spending less time in public
  • Caring less about your looks
  • Lying and engaging in dangerous behaviors
  • Feeling unwell when you want to quit

Addiction Treatment

Detoxification, therapy, and prescription medications are usually the best treatment options for substance use disorders. Therapy programs include; CBT, EMDR, and nutrition/diet. They are usually performed in a residential inpatient setting.

Cedar Oaks Wellness Center is a Premier Alcohol Addiction Ohio Center

Overcoming addiction is tedious, but with adequate support and treatment, you can get back on your feet as soon as possible. Cedar Oaks Wellness Center is the number one drug addiction Ohio recovery clinic with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for treating alcohol and drug addiction.We work with patients to discover the underlying drug and alcohol addiction causes and offer a tailored plan to foster recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our Cincinnati drug and alcohol rehab center.

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