Why Do People Use Drugs: 7 Reasons in 7 MinutesWhy Do People Use Drugs: 7 Reasons in 7 Minutes
10 Jan
7 Reasons Why People Abuse Drugs
why do people use drugs

Why do people use drugs?

We usually attribute losing control due to one’s dependence on a substance to weakness. But the real reasons why do people use drugs (and abuse) are far more complex.

Beyond the moralistic explanation, there is a deep need to understand reasons people start taking drugs . Here are some of the possible reasons why people become addicted to drugs.

1. Addiction As a Result of a Medical Issue

Frequent or long-term prescription drug use could increase dependency to certain drugs.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that in 2010, nearly 2.5 million people in the U.S. started using prescription drugs non-medically. This often leads to drug abuse later. Dependence usually comes as a result of a prolonged illness or treatment of a disease that requires addictive prescription drugs. These could be painkillers and that can turn into a serious addiction.

2. Self-Medication

Individuals who self-medicate are at higher risk of abusing and becoming dependent on drugs. They refuse to seek medical help due to over-confidence in their ability to heal themselves. Or because of a general lack of trust in and fear of medical professionals.

In some cases, people use drugs in order to hide their vulnerabilities. Some people may suffer from a mental illness or may have self-esteem problems. This may be treatable, but put too much of a burden on them, preventing them from seeking the help they need. Instead of getting diagnosed and treated properly by a doctor, some patients may use drugs to try to cope on their own.

3. Family History or Family Stress

Someone who comes from a family that uses and abuses drugs is more likely to become dependent. Genes may very well play an important role in a person’s drug use or non-use. It seems that certain chemical reactions occur in addicted brains that do not occur in non-addicted brains. This may explain why some people can use addictive substances and never become addicted.

And in some cases, there are stressful situations in a family that can become a cause for drug use. 

4. Influence

The environment also plays an important role in the development of one’s addiction. One of the most common reasons why people succumb to drugs is that they are influenced either directly or indirectly by other people.

Especially people they admire or look up to, including parents, friends, older relatives and even celebrities. We live in an era where drug use is openly discussed and even promoted by people who have a significant following.

It is no surprise why impressionable fans and admirers may consider experimenting with drugs. The perceived acceptability of these substances is often reason enough to use them.

5. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is often a contributing factor among younger users, particularly teenagers. At an age when most young people want to belong, the risk of using and later becoming dependent on drugs is usually at it’s highest.

Drug use as a result of peer pressure among adults is also not uncommon. This is common for alcohol abuse and why younger users might get easily addicted. What may start off as just one drink during their teens can lead to long term abuse therefore leading to alienation. Our ontario drug rehab centre has seen numerous cases like these.

The encouragement from friends and colleagues may not be that aggressive. But it’s usually enough reason for someone who wants to fit in.

6. Emotional Instability

Past trauma, emotional issues and untreated psychological problems often drive people to turn to drugs to cope. Many types of drugs boost the mood and increase the feeling of euphoria, albeit temporarily.

Certain drugs can also create a false sense of security, power and confidence. While fleeting, these feelings are pleasant enough to drive people to use drugs again and again. Drugs allow them to escape to a state where they feel in control.

7. Stress

One of the most overlooked reasons why people abuse drugs is their inability to cope with stress, usually as a result of a highly demanding workplace. Some types of drugs allow users to focus well, become more confident and sociable, and even boost their creativity.

The demands of the job can often drive a person to keep using these drugs. They think that they may lose focus and whatever sense of control he or she gains from the experience.

So, why do people use drugs? In our experience, these 7 reasons are pretty much the reason.

Canadian Centre for Addictions

These posts are written by the staff of CCFA based on the ongoings and observations in the addictions and recovery industry. We're a private drug and alcohol rehab with an inpatient location in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada and an outpatient location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Drug Abuse & Drug Addiction, Drug Use, For Employee, For Loved One, For Self

Join our free Facebook group!

All About Recovery
Facebook Group · 2213 members
Join Free Group
There's always clouds before the rainbows. Join many others who are going through the same thing as you and see proof that it can get better.

Like Us!

Latest Posts


Addiction Problem
Addiction Recovery
Addiction Research
Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Addiction Treatment
Alcohol Abuse
Animal-Assisted Therapy
Behavioural Addiction
Canadian Centre for Addictions
Chronic Pain
Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine Treatment
Drug Abuse & Drug Addiction
Drug Use
Dual Diagnosis
Eating Disorder
Employee Wellness
Fentanyl Addiction
Food Addiction
For Employee
For Employer
For Loved One
For Self
Gambling Addiction
Gambling Addiction Treatment
History Of Addiction
Impulse Control Disorder
Marijuana Addiction
Medical Marijuana
Mental Illness
Ontario Rehab
Opioid Addiction
OTC Medication
Over-The-Counter Medication
Overdose Prevention
Overdose Treatment
Pain Management
Polysubstance Abuse
Prescription Drug Addiction
Prescription Drugs
Quitting Smoking
Recreational Drug Addiction
Rehab and Recovery
Safe Injection Sites
Social Assistance
Socioeconomic Status
Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse Treatment
Teenage Addiction
Weed Addiction
Workplace Addiction
Remember, it’s better if you can call us and take real action right now. However, if something is truly preventing you from calling, then fill out this form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.