What Are Some Risk Factors For Addiction?
For many people, addiction runs in the family. Many people trace back a generation to a loved one who may have struggled with substances. This can be a common risk factor for addiction. Yet other people come from families where everything seemed “normal” and they felt they had a well-adjusted childhood. There are many reasons people become addicted to drugs, starting with the reason they first experiment with them.
Addiction does not discriminate. While there are biological processes that cause addiction, that doesn’t explain why a person may pick up a drink or a drug in the first place. It also doesn’t explain why some people seem more prone to addiction than others.
Risk Factors In A Person’s Background
People at risk of abusing substances are also more likely to become addicted to them. People with alcohol or substance use in their immediate families, such as a parent or siblings, are more likely to use drugs.
Studies have also shown that people who have experienced trauma are more likely to have a substance use disorder. Trauma can vary wildly, from a bad traffic accident to childhood sexual abuse. People who have lived in war-torn areas served in the military, or survived a mass shooting is more likely to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD and anxiety are common challenges for people who abuse substances. Self-medicating is often a survival skill until they learn new ways to cope with and process the past.
Other Risk Factors For Addiction:
Many things can impact a person’s propensity for substance use and addiction. Here’s a list of common risk factors:
- Working in a high-stress environment such as a doctor in a hospital or a tech startup.
- Undiagnosed or untreated mental illness such as bipolar disorder or anxiety.
- Having trouble with sleep or living with a sleep disorder.
- Living with chronic pain or debilitating disease.
- Having obsessive or compulsive tendencies.
- Enjoying extreme sports or other “adrenaline” sports.
- Trying or using alcohol or drugs early in life.
- Lack of parental involvement/supervision as a teen.
- Exposure to opioids as a preteen or teenager.
- Living with a person who uses drugs or takes prescription narcotics
- Loneliness or isolation due to the pandemic or other circumstances.
- Exposure to drug use in the streets or neighborhood they live.
These factors are not all the risk factors that exist. Not everyone who uses drugs has the same risk profile or background as others. However, people who have been through the trauma experienced chronic pain, or experimented with drugs at a young age may be more prone to addiction.
It’s important to remember that most people addicted to a substance didn’t start out wanting to be addicted. People initially use drugs for various reasons, including to relax, have fun, or forget about the things that trouble them. However, addiction truly has no limits. Anyone who tries a substance has the potential to become addicted. The good news is that help is available.
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you need help or struggle with substance use? We offer a compassionate environment to begin and continue your recovery journey. Start your journey with a team of professionals who can help you detox and stay sober in a home-away-from-home. We offer inpatient, detox, and outpatient programs focusing on holistic practices and healing in our recovery programs. We believe recovery can only happen in the present moment, and we’re here for you to start today. Call us to learn about our services at (619) 363-4767.