Most Common Causes of Addictive Behavior

Most Common Causes of Addictive Behavior

Tracing the causes of addictive behavior can be difficult. In a lot of circumstances, the causes of addictive behavior are attributed to a set of environmental factors that, over time, have pushed the person suffering from addiction to seek escape from reality. Here are some of the most common causes of addictive behaviors.


Trauma—both physical and emotional—can be the primary driver of addictive behavior. In many circumstances, addiction is one of the behaviors that people develop to cope with trauma. Furthermore, trauma can cause people someone to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause feelings of depression and anxiety. These feelings only get worse with more drug use, even if the addiction may feel like a solution.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders are also prominent factors in addictive behavior. Co-occurring mental disorders often go undiagnosed, giving the person suffering from addiction no indication that their behavior stems from mental illness. Some of the mental disorders that commonly lead to addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Schizophrenia

Genetic or Environmental Predisposition

The last major factor that often results in addictive behavior is a genetic or environmental predisposition. This means that if a person suffering from addiction had someone in their life growing up who also dealt with substance abuse, that person is more likely to find emulating this behavior acceptable. Negative coping behavior can even be passed down genetically from parent to child, meaning that in some cases, addiction can be traced back to family.

We hope that this article has helped you further understand the most common cause of addictive behavior. Remember that in these types of situations, every single person will have different reasons for exhibiting addictive behavior. As such, it’s up to those who are close to that person to try to find the cause of the behavior to help them.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey