Addiction begins with a problem, discomfort, or some form of emotional or physical pain for a person.

This person is, like most people in our society, basically good. But he encounters a problem that is causing him physical or emotional pain and discomfort and for which he does not have an immediate answer.

Perhaps, as a child or teenager, he had difficulty "fitting in" or he lacked communication or academic skills. Or maybe there are physical injuries such as a broken bone, a bad back, or some other chronic physical condition. The loss of a job, career setback, divorce, accident, loss of a loved one, or simply chronic boredom and dissatisfaction can be enough to make a person reach for drugs or alcohol.

Whatever the origin of the difficulty, the discomfort associated with it presents the individual with a real problem. He feels that his problem is major, persistent, and unsolvable. Most of us have experienced this type of problem to a greater or lesser degree.

For any of these reasons, some people begin to use alcohol or addictive drugs. Once the person takes the drug, the discomfort is relieved. Even though the relief is only temporary, the drug appears to solve the problem. That relief is valuable, and so the drug or alcohol becomes valuable. This value is the only reason the person uses drugs or alcohol again.

There are two key factors that determine who becomes an addict and who does not:

1. The first factor is peer pressure.
If, at the time of the discomfort, a person is exposed to peer pressure in favor of drug or alcohol use, that pressure can make him favor drugs or alcohol as a solution to life's difficulties. Peer pressure may come from friends or family or through advertising, television, movies, or music videos.

2. The second factor is the valuable relief the person felt when he used the drugs or alcohol.
The bigger the problem, the greater the discomfort, and the greater the value he assigns to that which brings about the relief.

When peer pressure combines with relief of the discomfort or problem, drug use becomes acceptable and even desirable.

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Author's Bio: 

Chad Ratliffe is a visionary and entrepreneur. He spent 20 years battling alcohol and drug addiction. His recovery has inspired a program of recovery that is changing the world. The goal for My World Recovery is to help 200,000,000 people recover and rebuild their lives who are suffering from addiction of any kind. For more information visit: Addiction Recovery Coaching.