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When do Addictions Occur?

Abstract: There are many different circumstances, often in combination, which cause addiction.

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When do Addictions Occur?

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Question(s): 
Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

When, in which circumstances, do addictions more easily occur?

Answer:

An addiction is not a clinical picture with a clear cause, such as a fracture or a virus. It is not true that a certain character or a certain circumstance leads to an addiction. What is true is that the risk of developing an addiction is bigger under certain social and personal circumstances. These circumstances are described below:

Social : family background, the school class and friends all influence the individual and his behaviour. When the 'group' you belong to considers it normal to use certain substances, the chance of adopting these values is higher.

Psychological : it is not yet possible to determine whether certain character traits lead to addiction, but it is clear that addicts have often lacked structure and clarity in their education. Other factors are a lack of security, love and attention. Also over-concern by parents and other strict educational structures seem to play a role. A large number of problem users come from a family in which there was excessive (alcohol) use by (one of) the parents. Also traumas (drastic events) during youth, such as sexual abuse or physical assault, can play a role.

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