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13 Reasons Why I Became an Addict

Have you ever wondered why people become addicts? Here’s 13 different stories from now-recovered addicts. There are as many reasons why addicts started using as there are addicts. Every addict has their own story, their own understanding of the world, and their own causes for their addiction. Researchers have yet to point to a single defining factor to determine whether or not someone becomes an alcoholic. Current understanding describes the cause of addiction as a combination of both biological and environmental factors. Biological factors refer to anything that happens before birth, particularly the genes that were passed down when we were born. There is no “addiction gene” but research has shown some individuals to be seemingly more predisposed to addiction than their counterparts. Environmental factors refer to anything that happens after birth, such as the family you were raised by, the location you grew up in, or the school you attended. Most of these factors are not controllable, especially while young, but do contribute to the development of alcoholism. Other environmental factors include economic or employment status. Again, there is no single determining factor that decides whether or not someone will become an addict. But every addict has their reasoning for why they started. Find out below 13 reasons why 13 different addicts started using drugs.

1. My Parents Were Drug Addicts

I grew up in a home with parents who were either drinking or on drugs all the time. There was always an open beer can somewhere in the house. I think I took my first sip of beer when I was 5 or 6 when my dad asked me to get him a beer from the fridge. Then when I was 11 I found out I was born addicted to heroin. My mom used while she was pregnant with me. Once I learned about that, I used any method I could to mentally escape from the family and house I was raised in.

2. My Brother Died of a Drug Overdose

I know, it doesn’t make sense. My brother died of an overdose so shouldn’t I be completely against drugs? He was 10 years older than me and died when I was 8. I never really had the chance to know him while he was alive. It makes no sense to me either, but when I’m high on heroin I feel closer to my brother than I ever did in my life. It’s almost like something to bond with him over even though he isn’t here.

3. The Friends I Had at School

I hung out with all the kids my parents told me not to hang out with. And they told me not to for good reason because they were exactly how I was introduced to smoking weed and drinking beers on the weekends. We lived for the weekends during middle and high school, just trying to make it through until we could party as soon as Friday afternoon came around.

4. I Wanted to Fit In

I was always the fat, nerdy guy while growing up. When my brother recruited me to sell weed to my middle school friends for him, suddenly I became incredibly popular. I was the guy who had the connection. Anyone who wanted to have a good time came through me. I made more friends than I ever imagined I could have. It progressed to harder drugs as we realized how much money we could make. That’s how it started for me.

5. I Was Assaulted

I was sexually assaulted at a party in high school. I had only drunk 2 beers at the time and I wasn’t that drunk. The boy was so much bigger than me, though, and I couldn’t fight him off. I spent the next 20 years of my life trying never to remember that night again. To experience being violated like that is a feeling you can’t understand unless it’s something you’ve been through, too.

6. I Was Bored

This might be the worst excuse in the book. I have friends who started getting loaded because of family or financial difficulties. I was just bored. I had nothing better to do. A friend at school told me you could get high off of painkillers and I knew that my older brother had some from a wisdom tooth surgery. I tried them out one night and was instantly hooked. Boredom, though. Can you believe that?

7. Financial Difficulties

I started drinking when I fell upon some financial difficulties. At first, it helped to relieve some of the frustration and stress of having very little money. Soon, though, it became a massive expense that only contributed further to my financial difficulties. Once you’re hooked, though, there’s no stopping until you’re either ready to or physically are unable to. I ran myself into absolute financial ruin because I started getting high. And it all started because I had financial difficulties in the first place.

8. The Stress of My Job Was Getting To Me

I started drinking in my late 20s with my boss. He kept a scotch collection in his office for special occasions and would invite us in every few days for an afternoon highball. I took it at first to feel a part of with my boss. It seemed like the right thing to do. When I realized that afternoon highball relieved the stress caused by the high pressure on the sales floor, I soon brought my own bottle into work and kept it in my desk drawer. The afternoon highballs became earlier and earlier in the day, though, until I had little control over when I would pull the bottle from my desk.

9. I Got Hooked to Painkillers After My Surgery

I had a knee replacement surgery after finally fixing an old, scarred up tear in my meniscus. Doctors prescribe painkillers like candy when you have surgeries. I didn’t realize how dependent I was until I ran out and the doctor stopped refilling my prescriptions. By that time there was nothing I could do, though. That one surgery sent me on a six-year run of doctor shopping and finding dirty pharmacies to fill my prescriptions for me. I never knew about the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry until that six year period of my life.

10. I Wanted to Find “That High” Again

I was dating a guy who knew I was already a fan of using cocaine on special occasions. One weekend he brought out what he said was cocaine but it ended up being meth. The first time you get high on meth is one of the most surreal, euphoric, and insane experiences. After that night I spent years trying to reach the same high that I experienced the first night he introduced me to meth. Meth is a crazy drug, though, and the highs after that first one are never the same. It was an awful time in my life.

11. My Mental Health Issues Were Too Difficult to Handle

You’ve probably heard of people who self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to help them handle their mental health issues. I struggled with extreme anxiety for most of my middle school and high school life. When I got to college and was introduced to alcohol and marijuana, I immediately felt all those years of anxiety entirely melt away. It was the only way I knew how to handle my anxiety until I finally saw a therapist who helped me learn to handle my addiction and my anxiety at once.

12. I Didn’t Have Insurance

I had back pain from work and didn’t have insurance. I found that self-medicating my pain with a combination of alcohol, marijuana, and unprescribed painkillers kept the back pain at bay long enough to keep working so I could pay the bills for alcohol, marijuana, and unprescribed painkillers. This vicious cycle continued until I could no longer handle the cycle. I learned to put down substances and found a job that offers insurance to its employees. I had to take a pay cut but it’s worth the peace of mind knowing that I never have to live that way that I used to again.

13. Alcohol and Pills Are Legal, Aren’t They?

This was the hardest thing for me. Every drug I did was legal. The Xanax and Adderall were prescribed by my psychiatrist and I could buy alcohol in any grocery or corner store in my neighborhood. It didn’t matter that I mixed the medications to a euphoric bliss every night; it was legal so it didn’t count. It wasn’t until I was arrested for a DUI that I fully realized the severity of my actions. I kept justifying it, saying everything I was doing was legal. When I was arrested for the DUI on my combination of “legal” substances, the officer didn’t bat an eye as he pushed me into the back of the squad car. I learned that just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Also, because it’s all legal, I just have to work a little bit harder to stay sober. And that’s okay with me today.