Drug addiction is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world. It can start in someone’s life in a number of ways, and it can have a devastating impact on their mental health, family relationships and brain cognition. In this blog post, we will discuss how drug addiction starts and the impacts it has on people’s lives. If you are struggling with drug addiction or know someone who is, please seek help as soon as possible. There is no shame in admitting that you need help and getting treatment for your addictive patterns.

Before you read the article, you can also watch Jack Nagle, our founder’s story on how his addiction started

How drug addiction begins

Drug addiction can start in a number of ways. For some people, it starts with experimentation. They may try drugs for the first time out of curiosity or peer pressure. Others may start taking drugs to self-medicate for an underlying mental health condition. Whatever the reason someone starts taking drugs, it can quickly escalate into addictive patterns. This is how drug addiction starts.

Scientists and leading addiction professionals don’t agree on the exact underlying causes of addiction, however, understand the following elements as risk factors in turning substance use into a full-blown addiction:

  • Underlying mental health challenges and conditions
  • Trauma
  • Suspected biochemical dysfunction (problems with normal dopamine and separation uptake, etc.)
  • Physical health issues
  • Challenging social, economic and relational challenges

All of the above increase an individual’s vulnerability to developing an addiction. The best form of treatment is prevention, so if you want to avoid addictions, managing these factors to the best of your ability is critical.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please reach out for help. Addiction is a serious condition that impacts brain cognition, family relationships and mental health. Early intervention can make a big difference in long-term recovery rates.

We offer free consultations to help assess your needs and explore the best treatment options for you.

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How drug addiction changes the brain

Addiction changes the way the brain functions. It alters how you experience pleasure and can lead to cravings for drugs even when you are not using them or wanting to use them. These changes in brain function can impact your mood, decision-making abilities and self-control. Over time, addiction can damage your physical health as well as your mental health due to the biochemical changes that occur in the brain.

When people engage in treatment services, they often focus on the psychological impacts of addiction but neglect the biochemical impacts. However, both are important to address in order to achieve lasting recovery.

Here are some ways you can help address the biochemical impacts of addiction:

  • Talk to your doctor about how addiction has impacted your physical health
  • Obtain a referral to a psychiatrist, in order to ascertain underlying issues that may be present and what assistance can be provided through medication or other medical interventions
  • Change diet and lifestyle that supports positive mental health and increased mood
  • Reduce and remove other addictive patterns from your life

Check out our programs to see how we can help, Click here to find out more

How drug addiction affects family

Addiction doesn’t just impact the person struggling with it. It also takes a toll on their family and friends. Unfortunately for some, drug addiction can start as a result of broken family relationships, highlighting the importance of creating a strong supportive family unit no matter the situation.

Families often say, “addiction is a little like throwing a pebble in the pond, it has a ripple effect”.

The stress of living with someone with an addiction can lead to conflict, communication problems and emotional distance. Addiction can also cause a financial strain as the person struggling with addiction may spend money on drugs or alcohol instead of other life responsibilities like bills or food.

While addiction can have a negative impact on family dynamics, there is also hope. There are many support groups and resources available to help families heal the damage that addiction has caused. With time, patience and effort, families can rebuild trust and create healthy relationships.

If you are a family member struggling with a loved one’s addiction, we would recommend that you get in touch with family support. To discover a service that may be of help in your situation, visit the below resource.


How it affects mental health

People struggling with addiction often have co-occurring mental health disorders. This means that they suffer from both addiction and other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 20% of people with substance abuse disorders also have a mental illness.

As detailed above, drug addiction can start as a result of underlying mental health issues and is a critical factor to address in order to avoid issues with substances. 

If you are struggling with addiction and mental health issues, we recommend getting in touch with us and taking advantage of our free consultation to explore your options.

Don’t wait for help

If you’re struggling with an addiction, know that you don’t have to go through it alone. There are many ways to get help and treatment. You can start by talking to your doctor about your options. You can also utilize the free consultation with us. All in all, we recommend that you don’t wait and you just reach out to someone and let them know what you are going through.

Remember, “you are only one shift away from completely changing everything”.

To your success,

Jack Nagle


We’ve helped countless people overcome addictive patterns, book a call today and find the fastest path to breaking addictive patterns, achieve change and find happiness within yourself.