Nature or Nurture: What Causes Drug Addiction?

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Peace Valley Recovery is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to provide patient-centered care that focuses on healing and recovery from addiction. This blog provides information, news, and uplifting content to help people in their recovery journey.

Authored by Elliott Redwine, | Medically Reviewed by Peace Valley Recovery Editorial Staff,
Last Updated: March 5, 2023

“What causes drug addiction?”

It’s a question that’s been around for as long as people have dealt with substance and alcohol abuse. Why do some individuals struggle to control their use while so many others can take it or leave it? Is it nature or nurture? What is it that makes some turn to drugs and alcohol?

Ultimately there is no single catch-all answer to this question. Addiction and alcoholism are complex conditions which means there are complex causes. It isn’t as simple as pointing at one particular thing as the source of substance and alcohol abuse.

Everyone has a different situation that led up to where they are. What causes drug addiction in an individual is often as unique as the individual. Are there times where one aspect plays a bigger role in someone developing a drug or alcohol problem, though? Can you look at nature vs. nurture on a case-by-case basis?