By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
The top 4 reasons you began to drink or use drugs.
Many people want to find the reasons they drank and used. Here are some common reasons and what to do about them.
1. Good day – celebrate.
In the beginning, it is all good. A little of this or that will help you celebrate. Your drug of choice helped you feel stronger, more attractive, more outgoing and smarter. No one gives up a substance that makes them feel like that.
Drinking and using is often a social thing, you do it with your friends until your abuse of substances drives friends away and it is just you and your drug.
At the start of addiction, it is all good. As time goes on the wreckage mounts. What the addicted person eventually learns is that the drug was not their friend, making them happy, sharing their happiness. Addiction is a thief that steals your happiness.
Solution? Learn to celebrate without drugs and alcohol.
2. Bad day – drink, use to cheer yourself up.
People drink and use to change their mood. If you are sad, use a chemical to brighten your day. It works for a while. Then the drug or the alcohol stops working. It leaves you still miserable. Eventually, that drug begins to beat you up. The drug becomes the reason you are sad and depressed. The drug makes you anxious and scared.
We hear the refrain everywhere we go. This went wrong – I need a drink. That was late or unpleasant – I need a drink. People around you will tell you “You look like you could use a drink.” Not till years later will you hear “I think you have been drinking too much.”
Solution? – Learn to manage negative emotions without chemicals and learn that sometimes it is normal to feel bad for a while.
3. Boring day use drugs to create excitement.
In the early stages of use, it sounds exciting. Things are dull and boring – get high. Don’t know what you want to do – get high. For everything that is missing the refrain is get high. When there is nothing left and your life has passed by unlived you might realize that getting high day after day is the same old boring thing.
Solution – Learn to become excited about the things you already do and learn to enjoy the benefits of peace and quiet sometimes.
4. Any other reason to use whether it satisfies you or not.
Most addicts or alcoholics have a reason the tell themselves is why they drink. They had a lousy childhood, that’s why they use. They lost a partner and that means they will forever be alone. The drug promises comfort and companionship.
Drugs and alcohol pretend to be your friend. They promise a cure for loneliness, anger, and pain. In the end, they take everything you have and leave you to defeated to care anymore.
Alcohol looks like a cure for anger; it takes your mind off the thing that made you angry for a moment. But it also lowers your inhibitions. People who treat anger with alcohol are more likely to get violent, not less. People who treat depression are at an increased risk to attempt suicide or other self-harming behaviors. Treating negative emotions makes the emotion more of a problem not less.
While many people with a drug or alcohol problem would like to find a hidden reason why they drink and drug – the truth is that even when they think they have discovered the reason they still have the addiction. The reason for addiction is simple, addicts and alcoholics put chemicals in their bodies to change the way they feel and act. Once there the drug turns on the user and takes control of their life.
Solution? Build a life with meaning and purpose that is built on real experiences not the fraud of addiction.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.
Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.