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People use drugs for as many different reasons as there are people.

  • Drugs can make one feel good. However, our society turns to drugs when the problems could be addressed in beneficial and less dangerous means. 
  • The media often glamorize alcohol and other drug abuse. Jokes about people in treatment are more prevalent than genuine concern for the person who has lost control of her or his life.
  • Drugs are often part of a shared experience; it is a social thing to do. The use of drugs such as alcohol may be part of a family occasion, cultural or religious celebration or practice.
  • Our society and thus our kids look at drug use as “normal.” Young people drift into drug abuse with little understanding of the potential dangers. 
  • Parents often do not model good decision making and social responsibility and use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs themselves.
  • Some people use drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, or others for spiritual or intellectual reasons.
  • Some have significant risk factors: genetic disposition toward compulsive behavior; use by parents and/or siblings; rigid religious group membership; and poverty.
  • If one has little personal or family values then he/she is at risk for drug use.
  • If one gets away with negative behavior this reinforces further negative behavior.
  • If drugs are available one may likely use them.
  • Many parents allow their children to do things which could lead to risky behavior; in addition, some allow underage people to use alcohol.
  • There are those people who do not look at a future bright with meaning or joy; they are at risk.
  • Even those who realize they are in trouble with alcohol or other drugs are unlikely to get the treatment they need at the time they need it.
  • A significant traumatic event encourages the use (appropriate and inappropriate) of chemicals. Sometimes the use leads to abuse.
  • New, exotic, and innovative drugs are being created every day appealing to people.
  • Ineffective treatment of these mental health disorders or not recognizing that one even has such a treatable problem may lead to an attempt to self-medicate.
  • The lack of positive alternatives often leads to negative ones.
  • People can become addicted to pain killers. 
  • Lack of critical thinking or common sense: Making good decision is not inherited; it has to be taught. Teaching can come from parents and from schools.
  • Lack of respect of self, others, authority: This concept of questioning authority and lack of respect (often shown by our leaders in government, talk shows, and the media in general) isolates people and encourages individuals not to trust or listen to others.
  • Once involved it is hard to get out. This can be true to the addition itself or to the peers who can be violent and threatening or can just exert power through threatening exclusion from the group—an especially powerful fear of teenagers. 
  • Even in high schools the acceptability of performance enhancing drugs/supplements can not only be problematic in and of themselves  but also may lead to other drug experimentation.
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