Psychology 101: Why Do People Get Hooked On Drugs?


Checking various statistics about drugs can tell you that millions of people are dependent on the substance up to now. The medical world differentiates prescription drugs from the illicit ones, but their effect on those who abuse them is the same. What’s worse is that the age range in most reports start around 12 years old, which entails that even kids have access to addictive pills.

What seems so great about drugs that many individuals, young and old, get hooked on it? Let us dabble in psychology a little to understand the reasons that addicts typically provide.

  1. The Friends Are Users Too

When the people you are always with have a substance addiction, you only have a tiny chance of not acquiring their habit. You may refuse the first few times, yet it is effortless to get tempted to try using when you feel down. Similarly, others who long for attention tend to give in fast as well, especially if that means keeping their “friends.” “Peer group pressure begins in elementary schools, as early as age nine. It’s what kids actually encounter there on any given day,” said University of Maryland developmental psychologist Dr. Melanie Killen.

  1. It Relieves Their Stress

For individuals who are not used to dealing with stress, they look for the quickest way to get rid of the burdensome feeling it comes with. Instead of managing the things that cause the stress, though, some tend to smoke marijuana or take a higher dosage of their prescribed medicine without informing their doctor first. The result is that they become addicts in no time. People who are depressed may drink or abuse drugs to lift their mood or escape from feelings of guilt or despair,” says Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC.

  1. They Inherited The Need For Drugs

It is true that when you are born to parents who are drug dependents, there is a frightening possibility for you to be like them in the future. The reason is not merely due to the constant presence of drug paraphernalia in your house. It can also be because you already developed a tolerance to illegal substances when you were still in your mother’s womb. Once you start using drugs, therefore, you need more doses than an average person.

  1. It Is Originally For Pain Management

If you live with chronic pain, the doctors will usually give you Valium, Celebrex, or Cymbalta to reduce your suffering on a regular basis. They provide a prescription so that you know how many pills to take when the symptoms strike. However, for some people, they never want to feel the pain; that’s why they pop more drugs than advised by the specialist. Because of that, they develop a tolerance to the medication and feel the need to consume a higher quantity of drugs to attain the effects they need. This results typically to addiction too.

  1. They Are Fighting A Mental Disorder

The individuals who get diagnosed with depression or anxiety also have free access to addictive drugs – that’s for sure. They initially take the pills for several months as per the doctor’s orders. Once the medication period ends, though, that is when the symptoms of the illness come back stronger. The pain coming from that typically pushes the patients to use drugs again and eventually get addicted to it.


“There is no single right way to treat a drug or alcohol addiction,“ says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. You see, there are diverse reasons why people get hooked on drugs. No amount of problem can justify the addiction, but it is essential to know what pushed many of them to become addicts so that we can all help them turn their lives around.