Why Do Addicts Use Drugs?

who do addicts use drugs

When it comes to addiction, those who have never used drugs before or have never had any experience with drugs usually fail to understand why anyone in their right mind would ever use them. While kids are growing up, they get bombarded with anti-drug campaigns, like D.A.R.E. or Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” slogan. We, as a society, try to indoctrinate our youth, early, with the mindset that they should never use drugs and give them all the reasons in the world why they shouldn’t. So after being educated on the dangers of drugs and the precariousness of addiction, why would anyone ever get high that first time?

This is a pretty loaded question. For the common layperson, using drugs is a dangerous and illogical decision for anyone to make. They see addicts struggle on the streets of every major city in the U.S., see them standing in line outside of Methadone clinics and watch awful Facebook videos of a mom “nodding out” on a public transit bus while their young child yells for them to wake up. You’d think that after seeing all of this, it would deter future generations from picking up that first pill or taking that first line. So why does anyone ever decide to try drugs in the first place, knowing the dangers and consequences of “dancing with the devil?”

In essence, drugs are a solution to a problem or problems for people. Most of the time, drug use starts, innocently enough, with experimentation. I was hanging out with a group of friends one day, when someone pulled out a few pills and offered them up. Being an “ordinary” person and not having much experience with drugs, I was intrigued. My friends told me the pills would make me feel good, so I thought:

“Hey, screw it. One pill isn’t going to get me hooked.”

I took the pill and then something miraculous happened. As I felt the effects of the drug, I realized that it did more than just get me high. I felt my low self-confidence fade away and my low self-esteem disappeared. I was talkative, personable and I felt like I could connect with people on a deeper level. The pain in my knee went away. I had more energy, but I could also finally relax. I felt like I could finally talk to anyone now without feeling shy or badly about myself. I was in complete euphoria. I realized that the drug was solving all of my problems. I thought:

“Now this is how I’m supposed to feel.”

The drug felt so good that I decided to use it the next day. And the day after. And the day after that. After a while, I was physically addicted and felt like I couldn’t live without the drug and go back to the way I used to feel. To me, feeling “normal” was feeling bad, and the drugs fixed that. How could I give it up now? Besides, if I didn’t get high, I’d get sick. After a while, drugs kept me from functioning normally. I couldn’t keep a job because I would either get fired for being high on the job, I wouldn’t show up when I was sick, or I’d come to work really late because my dealer didn’t show up when he was supposed to. No amount of drugs satisfied me. I spent hundreds of dollars a day chasing a high I could never achieve. I started to run out of money and would get desperate. I started stealing from work, stealing my mom’s jewelry, and pawned all of my belongings. Things were completely out of control. My family didn’t understand what happened. A year ago I was a clean-cut, straight-laced kid who loved his family and got good grades. Now I was dirty, disheveled, couldn’t sit still for more than 2 minutes, avoided my mom and dad at all costs, and had robbed my family blind.

Now came the time when my family went into crisis and everyone was scrambling to figure out what to do. Do they get me into AA/NA meetings? Do they get me into a clinic? Take me to a doctor? Or should they find me a good drug rehab?

This is a very familiar situation for many families. Although my family felt all alone in the world, that no one else was going through what they were going through, the truth is, there are many families all over the world going through the same scenario.

Addicts use drugs to solve a problem or series of problems. No one decides that they want to be a junkie one day. What starts off as experimentation lays the groundwork for the chaos that will soon follow. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, get them help immediately. What any family should do at this point is find a rehab that can help the addict to unwind all the damage the drugs have done. This includes getting the drugs detoxed out of the addict’s body and getting to the core root of why they used drugs. The family needs to find a rehab that will help the addict figure out which problems the drugs were solving and then get those problems handled. Until this is done, the addict and the family will continue to suffer.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction,
call Narconon Suncoast today to speak to an intake specialist.


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.