Today, many people use drugs and alcohol for recreational purposes. Unfortunately some people become addicted for different reasons. I abused substances for over 10 years and it did not end in a nice way. At the beginning I was having the time of my life and I slowly became more and more addicted which made me hit rock bottom. Just for the record I wrote this article to show you why people use in the first place not because it’s good for you. Some people use recreationally and that’s fine but addiction is nothing to laugh about. I want to bring awareness to how addiction can happen. Thankfully today I have been clean and sober for over a year and I wanted to know why I did what I did. So here are some reasons I figured out:
I Used Drugs and Alcohol To Feel Good
Most drugs of abuse and alcohol produce feelings of intense pleasure and happiness. For drugs, you might get an initial sensation of euphoria which is followed by other effects which are different depending on the drug you use. For example, the feeling of euphoria that is caused by opiates such as heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction. In contrast, with stimulated such as cocaine, the high that you get is followed by feelings of power, confidence and increased energy.
Curiosity and Peer Pressure (because others are doing it).
Growing up, I was a very curious person especially as a teen. I also wanted to do what my friends were doing and what was “cool” at the time. First I started with marijuana and then alcohol followed by drugs. So many teens were smoking weed on a daily basis and looked so happy. I wanted to feel what they were feeling so I tried it and immediately got hooked. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of the strong influence of peer pressure; they are more likely to engage in thrilling and daring behaviours. Teens also feel a strong desire to rebel against their parents and authority in general.
To Be More Productive and Do Better
I know for myself I was using cocaine in order to have a heightened sense of awareness and concentration. I suffered from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), so it helped me focus on work for long periods of time and helped me be more productive. Due to increasing pressure at the workplace and in pro sports some individuals feel the need to chemically enhance or improve their cognitive or athletic performance. At first it could be just plain experimentation but then it could develop in to drug abuse.
To Feel Better
Some people who suffer from depression, social anxiety, trauma and stress/anxiety related disorders often begin using drugs and/or alcohol in an attempt to lessen or have the illusion of escape created from feelings of emotional distress. Stress can play a major role in beginning drug or alcohol use, continuing drug abuse, or relapse in people recovering from addiction.
For years, I self-medicated my social anxiety and depression through the use of alcohol and drugs. The horrible thing about doing this is that it makes your depression and anxiety worse. The more I used the worse I felt the day after and so on. It worked for me on the short-term but on the long-term it ruined me.
Other Reasons Why People Use Drugs and Alcohol
- It makes you feel at ease, relaxed and good.
- It balances you and makes you feel somewhat in control
- It makes you feel more confident
- It makes you “sound” more intelligent
- It helps you stay awake
- For social acceptance or because of social pressures
- It may help reduce tension and worry
- Escaping reality, trying to make your troubles go away
- Pain relief
- To escape boredom
- To have fun