What are the Underlying Causes of Addiction?

By Jennifer McDougall

Addiction (defined as a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences) generally begins with the desire to escape—pain, loss, heartache, rejection, discomfort, anxiety, chemical imbalances in the brain, and depression. When drugs and alcohol are consumed they affect how the brain operates and processes information. Three areas of the brain most affected by drugs and alcohol are the brain stem (controls heart rate, breathing, and sleeping patterns), the cerebral cortex (delivers information from our senses allowing us to see, feel, hear, and taste), and the limbic system (controls our ability to feel pleasure). After using drugs and alcohol for even a short period of time a person could experience immediate dependency (defined as an adaptive state associated with a withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of repeated exposure to a stimulus). They may feel the urge to continue using in order to keep them going and avoid the awful withdrawal symptoms that are associated with the use of drugs and alcohol.

In a recent study it was shown that an estimated 23.5 million Americans suffer from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of those 23.5 million only 1 out of 10 people receive the treatment they desperately need. About 570,000 people die each year because of an addiction to drugs and alcohol. So as you see, treatment is crucial.

At Passages, we do not believe that drug and alcohol dependency is a disease. Instead, we believe it is the result of one or more of the following four causes:

  1. Chemical imbalance
  2. Unresolved events from the past
  3. Beliefs you hold that are inconsistent with what is true
  4. Inability to cope with current conditions

Anyone who is abusing drugs and alcohol is doing so because of one or more of these four causes. Through extensive research and direct experience, we have learned that addiction is not the primary problem but rather the symptom of a deeper underlying issue.

Passages is proud to offer you the finest drug rehab & treatment program available anywhere. Our deluxe rehabilitation and treatment center has been rated #1 by Healthcare Global magazine. Forbes magazine also named Passages Malibu one of the most luxurious rehab centers in the world.

This recognition comes after years of perfecting our treatment program and sticking with our core philosophy for treating addiction. While most rehab centers still offer group meetings for treatment, we provide you with a customized, one-on-one therapy program tailored to your specific needs.

“I began asking myself just what my high was about. What did I do when I was high that I didn’t do when I was sober? What was wrong that heroin fixed?”
― Pax Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

“A friend tells you the truth, that your breath stinks and you need a bath. An enemy tells you that you look great and you shouldn’t change a thing.”
― Nikki Sixx, The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star 

“Alcohol and drugs are not the problems; they are what people are using to help themselves cope with the problems. Those problems always have both physical and psychological components- anything from anemia, hypoglycemia, or a sluggish thyroid to attention deficient disorder, brain-wave pattern imbalances, or deep emotional pain.”
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

“I spent the rest of that day and most of the night thinking about all the hundreds of people I had met in rehabs and sober living houses and on the streets. We were all medicating our fears and our pain!”
― Pax Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

To avoid getting wrapped up in the awful cycle of addiction, we recommend practicing these 7 healthy habits everyday.

  1. Surround yourself with positive influences who encourage you, motivate you, respect you, and tell you the truth.
  2. Eat right, stay hydrated, and exercise daily. This is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing.
  3. Practice meditation to care for your spiritual health.
  4. Maintain a positive outlook and perspective on life and current situations.
  5. Embrace a sober lifestyle. There are plenty of things you can do and enjoy without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  6. Keep your mind active and challenged by reading, writing, and pursuing your passions.
  7. Know when to put your foot down and say NO when you disagree or feel pressured into doing something you don’t feel right about.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we focus on helping our clients heal the underlying conditions that are causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Unlike most treatment centers, we do not label you an addict or believe that you are powerless. Instead we utilize a variety of 19 holistic healing methods that empower you to grow in ways you may never had thought possible before. Don’t wait another day to break free from the brutal cycle of addiction. The time has come to make a change and begin living a healthy, happy, and sober life. Call us today!

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

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