Health & Wellness

Root Cause: How Does Addiction Start?

Addiction is a complex and difficult topic to confront, and it’s hard to know what would cause any one person to begin that journey. Many of us may like to think that we can seek to prevent an addiction start by going to addiction rehab, but the fact is that the vast majority of addicts never planned for things to end up that way.

Addiction can very often creep on, and before you know it, you’re feeling out of control and very much struggling to keep restraint on your desire to maintain addictive behaviors.

How Does Addiction Start?

Whilst it is entirely individual for each person as to how their own addiction began, there are some common threads of thinking as to why an addiction may begin, and they are:

  • The Disease Model
  • The Personality Model
  • The Choice Model

These three threads of thinking tend to encompass the majority of reasoning when it comes to why anyone person has an addiction. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

The Disease Model

Many experts feel that addiction is a disease. The combination of addictive environments and/or substances and repeated exposure and/or behaviors related to those things, lead to true physical changes in the brain and the rest of the body. As with any other disease, if it is not treated then it can lead to all kinds of problems with the body and the mind.

The Personality Model

Many experts think that people can be predisposed to addiction because of something that can often be referred to as an ‘addictive personality. Having this kind of natural predisposition to take part in compulsive behaviors can then lead to addictive behaviors like substance misuse.

To find the root cause of addiction from this perspective, psychologists would look at the potential for personality disorders to exist or the potential for certain experiences in a person’s childhood where their personality development was disrupted.

The Choice Model

Some experts believe that addiction is a simple case of choice. You choose to begin a behavior or start using a certain substance and if it is pleasurable or, gives you gratification in some way, it is easy to then repeat that behavior, and as with any habitual behavior, you then struggle to stop.

Any treatment for addiction  based on this way of thinking is usually based on breaking addictive habits and helping a person to make better choices that are based on long-term consequence awareness, rather than short-term gratification.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

The very best addiction recovery experts will likely consider that a combination of all three of the above elements comes into play with anyone addict’s personal journey. For that reason, for the best chance of recovery success, an individual approach is needed. Usually, acute physical addiction is addressed with medical detox, before working on discovering the root causes or causes of addiction to greatly enhance the chance of long-term recovery success.

“I understood, through rehab, things about creating characters. I understood that creating whole people means knowing where we come from, how we can make a mistake, and how we overcome things to make ourselves stronger.” – Samuel L Jackson

If you’re looking for exceptional private addiction treatment with an understanding that everybody’s path to addiction is different, get in touch with Infinity Addiction Solutions today. With inpatient and outpatient options, medical and psychological support, and more, however, your addiction started, with their help, you have a fantastic chance of it coming to an end. You deserve to thrive again and write a different ending to your story.


We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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