Is Addiction a Disease? A Deeper Look into the Causes of Addiction

people holding an intervention

Have you ever wondered what causes addiction? Is it something that’s wired in certain people’s brains or is it just a result of poor choices? Well, you’d be surprised to learn that addiction isn’t what you think. 

Keep reading to understand more about addiction and its root cause.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic disorder that causes an individual to have a compulsion for drugs, despite the harmful consequences. Most people who have an addiction often relapse, and it plays an unhealthy role in their life.

Addiction is the most severe form of substance abuse disorder, and it’s also a medical illness caused by repetitive misuse of a damaging substance.

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Is Addiction a Disease? 

According to most medical associations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is classified as a disease. 

Similar to most chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, addiction is triggered by psychological, environmental, behavioral, and biological contributors.

In most patients, their genetics account for about 50% of their likelihood of becoming a substance abuser.

Disorders like alcohol addiction, cocaine addiction, and meth addiction cause alterations in the function of the brain and body due to the constant consumption of nicotine, alcohol, and other substances.

The repercussions of untreated addiction usually result in physical and mental health disorders that require medical help. If the abuse isn’t treated, it becomes worse over time, and even fatal.

Contributing Factors That Cause Addiction

Just to be clear, addiction can happen to anyone. A person’s reason for falling into substance abuse varies, but some people are predisposed to it.

Here are some common factors that increase a person’s chance of becoming addicted:


Men are twice as likely to become substance abusers than women. However, females tend to progress in their addictions quicker than males. This is primarily the case with alcohol addiction.

This factor could be due to the fact that women tend to be stronger emotionally, while men are stronger physically. Most females express themselves and tend to cry more than men. 


Addiction is somewhat a genetic predisposition. Individuals with a family history of it have a greater probability of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Also, a person’s physical genetics contributes to how their body absorbs certain substances.

Family, Culture, and Childhood

Another big contributor to substance abuse is a person’s background. Chances are if they witnessed it in their home or neighborhood, they’ll be prone to it as well. This is especially true if a person’s main influencer was a parent.


A person can begin to struggle with addiction at any age. For those who start early, it’s usually due to peer pressure or childhood trauma.

On the other hand, it could also start later in life when older adults are having a hard time coping with the stress of life.

To get help for addiction, click this link to learn more.

Overcoming Addiction One Day at a Time

We hope this information helps you understand addiction a little more. 

If this article was helpful, don’t hesitate to browse the rest of our blog. We have a variety of posts regarding health, fitness, entertainment, and more.

We look forward to you becoming one of our regular readers!

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