January 20, 2018

The Top 4 Reasons Why People Start Using Drugs

If we are to win in the war against drugs, we first need to understand how and why people use the drugs. Only then can we come up with strategies to fight the war against drugs from the demand side. And this would be important, because efforts to fight the war against drugs from the supply side have largely been unsuccessful. So the next frontier is to deal with the demand side. For if we eradicate the demand, the supply will fizzle out, and the war will have been won. In trying to understand the demand side of things, we have to start by looking at the reasons as to why people start using drugs. And my analysis reveals some top 4 reasons as to why people start using drugs, namely:

  1. Peer pressure: this is the scenario where people are encouraged by their peers to start using drugs. The encouragement from peers is usually very strong, especially for teens and tweens. It is not really ‘encouragement’ in the strict sense of the word, but more of ‘incitement’ – where the teens/tweens in question risk being seen as people who are not ‘cool’ if they don’t take the drugs. So they are sucked into drug usage that way. The power of peer pressure cannot be overstated. Sometimes, it can (admittedly) be positive pressure: like where, out of peer pressure, someone is encouraged to take part is something like the Biolife plasma donation program. But it can at times be negative – like in the case we are dealing with here – where on account of peer pressure, one is sucked into drug usage.
  2. Low self-esteem: people who have low self-esteem always feel bad about themselves. So they are tempted to take anything that can make them feel better about themselves. This is how they end up being sucked into drugs usage.
  3. Self medication efforts: people with certain mental conditions (for instance depression) are tempted to take anything that will make them feel better, as part of their self-medication efforts. This is how some end up being sucked into drugs use.
  4. Experimentation: there are people who are inclined to try out all new things they encounter. They have an unmanageable sense of adventure, of which experimentation is an important aspect. In the course of their ‘experimentation’, they come across drugs, try them out, and end up being addicted.