What Causes Addiction?

Drug and alcohol misuse is dangerous—just overdoing it once is enough to cause serious injury or worse. However, not everyone that uses drugs or drinks is addicted. While alcohol and drugs of abuse can cause tolerance and dependence, substance use disorder (SUD) encompasses more than just these physical characteristics.

SUD is a treatable chronic brain illness that involves compulsive misuse and substance seeking despite negative effects on someone’s health, career, academics, or interpersonal relationships.

But what causes addiction? And how come some people get addicted and others don’t?

Understanding Addiction

Extensive research has been done on what leads to addiction and the effect of addiction and prolonged substance misuse on the brain. Still, there is much more we have to learn. We do know, however, that there are several factors that contribute to someone developing addiction.

The presence of one or several of these does not mean someone will become addicted to drugs or alcohol but the risk of addiction is greater for people that:

  • Have a genetic predisposition to addiction. Researchers believe this accounts for about 50% of addiction risk.
  • Tried drugs or alcohol at a young age.
  • Suffered trauma, especially during childhood.
  • Lacked parental guidance during childhood.
  • Live in certain conditions. This could mean anything from economic status, to being surrounded by peers that abuse substances, to living with constant stress.

While addiction may not be curable, it is treatable. Many people lead sober, fulfilling lives in recovery.

Addiction Treatment at River Oaks

River Oaks Treatment Center in Florida provides a continuum of care that encompasses many levels of care. Detox can help patients sober up safely and more comfortably, while rehabilitation provides them with the skills you need to remain sober in the long term.

Rehabilitation treatment primarily uses various forms of evidence-based therapy. Therapy helps patients:

  • Recognize and overcome triggers that lead them to misuse substances.
  • Alter thought and behavioral patterns.
  • Form positive coping mechanisms.
  • Forge a supportive network of peers that is conducive to sobriety.
  • Mend and create new interpersonal relationships.

There are many different settings for rehabilitation treatment provided at River Oaks, which include:

  • Inpatient care.
  • Residential treatment.
  • Partial hospitalization (day treatment).
  • Intensive outpatient treatment.

The ideal type of care and the length of stay varies greatly according to the patient’s unique needs. For example, someone with severe co-occurring disorders or that lacks a stable living situation may benefit more from inpatient or residential treatment. On the other hand, someone with a supportive family and safe, stable living environment or that has occupational obligations may respond better to partial hospitalization or outpatient care.

River Oaks also has specialized treatment tracks for:

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s not too late to get help. Please reach out to an admissions navigator at . They can go over treatment options and answer any questions you may have about care at River Oaks.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
We are here to help you get sober and learn how to stay that way. Retreat to the sunny climate near Tampa, Florida for a stay at the gold standard of treatment facilities. At River Oaks, we offer customized care plans to help you on your recovery journey at our beautiful Hillsborough County campus.