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What Behaviors Lead to Addiction

therapist researching causes of addiction

There are several causes of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Are behaviors one of them? Research on addiction in neuroscience, psychology, and clinical practice recognizes that there are behavioral patterns closely related to addiction. Understanding what causes addiction can help to prevent and treat substance use disorders more effectively.

At Midwest Center at Youngstown, our trained mental health professionals understand the behavioral causes of addiction and have developed individual therapy programs and services to help clients reach their goals for recovery. Reach out to learn more about how we address the behavioral contributors to addiction by calling 844.544.0502.

Causes of Addiction: Behavioral Contributions

Addictive behaviors may not cause addiction but are thought to be a part of the underlying issues. Just because the substance use ends does not mean there are no other issues remaining that need to be addressed in the recovery process. Understanding what causes addiction can help you tackle this disease at its core. 

Dopamine and Addiction

One of the reasons addiction happens is because of the involvement of dopamine, a neurotransmitter naturally produced by your body. One of the functions of dopamine is to help humans feel pleasure. Some substances interfere with this by causing massive dopamine dumps that leave individuals seeking the rush. Over time, one can build a tolerance, and more of the substance is required to get the desired effect. 

Impulse Control

Many substances affect a person’s impulse control. In the case of addiction, impulse control is the ability of an individual to fight temptation. Unfortunately, the longer someone struggles with substances, the harder the impulse control is to manage. However, during treatment, individuals are provided with skills and coping methods to address impulse control.

How Trauma and Addiction Interact

When left untreated, trauma and addiction are inevitable companions. Trauma can stem from stressful events like:

  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional or verbal abuse
  • Bullying or ongoing harassment
  • Accidents
  • Terminal illness

This is just a small list of instances that can cause trauma in someone’s life. Anytime someone feels like their life is in danger, they can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. If you or a loved one is dealing with trauma, some signs and symptoms may manifest, such as: 

  • Mood swings and erratic behavior
  • Excessive or inappropriate displays of emotion
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Lack of confidence
  • Changes in diet
  • Avoiding things or continually reliving the event

A person who has suffered a significant event may cope with the trauma by self-medicating. Some people self-medicate with substances or alcohol to help them manage the discomfort of unresolved trauma.

Address the Behavioral Causes of Addiction at Midwest Center at Youngstown 

At Midwest Center at Youngstown, we provide addiction treatment services to help clients address and overcome the behaviors and events that may have led to addiction. Our therapists are trained in several areas, including substance abuse, mental health, and trauma. With that in mind, our therapists address substance use disorder through a trauma-informed lens and will be with you every step of the way.

If you think you or someone you know can benefit from our services, contact us at 844.544.0502 or use our convenient online form. A member of our team will be happy to address any questions or concerns.