What Causes Addiction and Substance Abuse?

Addiction and substance abuse is not the result of personal short comings or weakness, but a result of complex factors including physical and mental health, social influences, personal history, and support availability. Psychology Today examined the social aspects of American life that contribute to the historically high rates of substance abuse that we see today. Could the way that society is structured result in more addiction and substance abuse?  Several experts suggest the answer is yes.

Psychology Today examined the social aspects of American life that contribute to the historically high rates of substance abuse that we see today. Could the way that society is structured result in more addiction and substance abuse? Several experts suggest the answer is yes.

Addiction was first recognized as a systemic social problem in the US during the 1960’s-70s when veterans returned from Vietnam, where heroin and alcohol use was common among soldiers. The news today is full of stories about economic and social components of the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Psychotherapist Karen B. Walant suggests that dysfunctional relationships can contribute to addiction. Walant claims that attachment disorders often underlies the workings of addiction. This is a condition in which an individual has problems forming and maintaining long-lasting relationships because of a personal history of neglect or abuse during childhood or a sudden or traumatic separation from a primary caregiver.

American Culture and Substance Abuse

A similar effect can be caused by pressures from the culture and its values, says Walant. By placing value on autonomy and self-reliance, American culture “fosters addiction by devaluing social connection” and resulting in “dependence” on drugs or alcohol. Without social support, some will turn to substance use.

According to psychoanalyst Linda Leonard and psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, the American industrial focus on productivity has resulted in a distorted sense of time. By ignoring the natural cycles of activity and rest throughout the day, we can become out of sync with the various biochemical rhythms of our bodies. This encourages us to ignore and suppress the needs, emotions, and feelings that would normally guide us toward healthy habits. For some individuals, this can contribute to the use of drugs or alcohol to compensate for unhealthy habits or cope with negative feelings. To find out more about addiction and substance abuse in American culture, visit the source information at the Psychology Today website.

How Hayver can Help Fight Addiction

Social and cultural pressures along with individual experiences and circumstances can contribute to substance abuse disorder. Hayver’s approach to addiction treatment uses the latest blockchain technology to change the incentives for people dealing with addiction. Hayver employs random urine testing, daily check-ins, and a social “Circle of Support” to help those in recovery attain long term success. To learn more about Hayver, visit www.Hayver.com or contact us at info(at)hayver.com.