It is not quite clear what makes people get hooked to drugs. Most of the times we are quick to point fingers and say that drug users have loose morals. We assume that drug addiction is a choice yet it is a disease.

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives.

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.

Sourced from:http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction

The drug addiction disease is as bad as straining child welfare agencies. Parents who have kids and get hooked put an extra burden on child welfare agencies who have to care for kids with no parents.

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Abuse of opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers is straining child-welfare agencies across the U.S. and sending more children into foster care, officials say. Addiction treatment for opioids only occasionally succeeds, relapse is common and children often languish for years in the system.

The number of children in foster care nationwide as of September 2014 rose 3.5% from a year earlier to 415,129, according to the latest data collected by the Administration for Children and Families, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Sourced from:http://www.wsj.com/articles/parents-drug-abuse-strains-child-welfare-agencies-1452538476

Various factors could contribute to drug use and addiction from peer pressure or simply the environment that a person is in. Addiction is not an event neither is it born out of self will.

Like many mental health disorders, several factors may contribute to development of drug addiction and dependence. The main factors are:

Environment. Environmental factors, including your family’s beliefs and attitudes and exposure to a peer group that encourages drug use, seem to play a role in initial drug use.

Genetics. Once you’ve started using a drug, the development into addiction may be influenced by inherited (genetic) traits, which may delay or speed up the disease progression.

Sourced from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/causes/con-20020970