Causes and Effects of Drug Abuse

Discover the Causes and Effects of Drug Abuse

The rate of illicit and prescription drug abuse in the United States for 2016 was 10.6 and 2.3 percent respectively, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people abuse drugs without giving a thought to what the consequences might be in their future. From permanent damage to overdose deaths, we will discuss the causes and effects of drug abuse in this article. 

Drug abuse doesn’t just affect your life. Learn how it affects everyone around you. Click here.

The Causes of Drug Abuse

A long-standing misconception about addiction is that is manifests out of a series of bad choices and a poor moral compass; however, research has shown the true nature of the disease: it is a mental disorder.

Almost each person has different causes for their addiction, but much of it can be attributed to an escape and a way to deal with pain and stress. The following are some of the most common reasons why people abuse drugs and alcohol:

  • When there is an untreated mental illness, it can lead to substance abuse to self-medicate
  • Poverty
  • Trauma and similar abuse
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Loss
  • Social problems
  • Chronic pain or other medical conditions
  • Biology, including a person’s sex, ethnicity, and hereditary conditions, such as an addition in the family
  • The age that the person first started abusing drugs; the earlier the abuse, the higher the chance of addiction forming
  • Peer pressure

Whatever the reason for a substance use disorder, the effects of drug addiction will begin to ripple into all areas of the person’s life as they become more reliant on the drug. It’s also important to note that even if two people use a drug, only one may become addicted due to their addiction risk; the factors that cause addiction increases the chances of a person becoming addicted.

Effects of Drug Addiction

By exploring the causes and effects of drug abuse, we gain a better understanding of why people use drugs, and what the consequences are. America is currently in a state where more preventable deaths are being caused by substance abuse than anything else.

As substance abuse takes hold and the person starts to lose control over how much they take, the effects of drug addiction become more profound. Each drug has its own set of negative effects, and depending on the person and how much they abuse, these effects can vary. The following are some of the systems affected and the symptoms of drug abuse:

  • Strokes and seizures
  • Vomiting, nausea and abdominal problems
  • Immune system damage, leading to increased risk of developing infections
  • Liver failure and overexertion
  • Cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and heart attacks
  • Damage to the brain, which can affect memory, decision making skills, attention, and moods
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug they abuse

Along with these causes and effects of drug abuse, there are other symptoms of drug abuse that people experience, such as:

  • Homelessness
  • Loss of a job
  • Criminal activities leading to incarceration
  • Risky behavior such as unprotected sex
  • Financial difficulty

Finding Help

The causes and effects of drug abuse are just one side of the coin; treatment and long-term maintenance must ultimately meet the problems of substance abuse. The treatment methods employed by rehabs such as WhiteSands are the latest in evidence-based treatments that are proven to be effective at helping to rebuild a drug addict’s life.

To learn more about how addiction is treated, what causes it, or if you would like to get help today, then contact WhiteSands at (877) 855-3470.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.