Experiencing Abuse Or Trauma
According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, an estimated 25% of children and adolescents experience at least one traumatic event before they turn age 25. 3 The Network also estimates that 13% of all 17-year-olds experience some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.3
Unfortunately, some people experience childhood trauma as much as they experience adolescent drug abuse. Sometimes, these two occur together. For example, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network reports that in young people who were receiving treatment for substance abuse, more than 70% reported having a history of exposure to trauma.3
Seeing Others Misuse Drugs
When a child grows up seeing a caregiver who abuses drugs, it increases their risk for substance abuse later in life, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.2 When a young person sees a role model or person in authority in their life abusing drugs, their concept of right and wrong when it comes to drug use may start to change. A young person may not view drug use as being a problem, or they may not believe it to be unlawful.
Seeing a persons peers misuse drugs is another risk factor for adolescents and drug abuse.2 A young persons peer group is critical to their health and well-being. Seeing their peers use drugs and also potentially engage in other unlawful behaviors may increase the likelihood that they will use drugs as well.2
Does Everyone Who Takes Drugs Become Addicted
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Everyone’s bodies and brains are different, so their reactions to drugs can also be different. Some people may become addicted quickly, or it may happen over time. Other people never become addicted. Whether or not someone becomes addicted depends on many factors. They include genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
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The Risk Factors Of Addiction
What are the risk factors that can lead to addiction? This is a question that has gained a lot of attention within scientific research.
Most research suggests that anyone can become substance dependent, whether it is nicotine, heroin, or alcohol.
However, several important risk factors can increase the likelihood of an individual becoming a person with a substance disorder. These can range from upbringing to genetics, age, and gender.
Although risk factors can vary and are not definitive in predicting whether an individual will become substance dependent, understanding them is an important tool for helping prevent and overcome addiction.
This article will highlight some of the main risk factors of addiction.
Are Males Or Females More Likely To Struggle With Substance Abuse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, men are more likely to use illicit drugs. While men of all ages have a higher risk of addiction than women, they are just as likely to struggle with substance use disorder. Additionally, women are more likely to have cravings and experience relapse, which are characteristics of addiction.
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Substance Abuse Risk Factor Statistics
Substance abuse risk factor statistics are plentiful. Some of the numbers are alarming, indicating that the problem is much more severe than what we tend to offer in response.
An overview of recent statistics provided by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics from 2018 revealed the following regarding substance use in the U.S.:2
- 31.9 million of the population over age 12 were current illegal drug users .
- 53 million of people aged 12 years and older used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs in the previous year.
- If alcohol and tobacco are included, the number of Americans who were current substance users climbs to 165 million .
- 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder.
- 70% of users who try an illegal drug before age 13 develop a substance abuse disorder within the next 7 years compared to 27% of those who try an illegal drug after age 17.
- The most common substance exposure reported to poison control centers was illegal or misused prescription opioids, with nearly 284,000 cases of exposure.
- 67,376 drug overdose deaths occurred, which was a 4.1% decline from the previous year.
- Substance abuse disorders affected over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over.
These numbers are a strong indication that if not careful, one may become yet another statistic.
Risk And Protective Factors
Research shows that the risk for substance abuse and other adverse behaviors increases as the number of risk factors increases, and that protective factors may reduce the risk of youth engaging in substance use that can lead to substance abuse. This interactive effect of risk and protective factors has substantial implications for the design and implementation of successful preventive interventions. The more a program reduces risk factors and increases protective factors, the more it is likely to succeed in preventing substance abuse among children and youth.1 Learn more about critical components and principles of effective adolescent substance abuse prevention programs.
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Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including:
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
Child Welfare System Involvement
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway , parental substance use impacts many families and children benefiting from services of the child welfare system.
Unfortunately, this may result in increased risk for maltreatment of children as it adversely affects a parents ability as a caregiver and provider.
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Risk Factors For Addiction In Teenagers
Substance addiction is a chronic disease that affects a persons mental health and behaviors. It develops after an individual has used drugs regularly, over a period of time. With consecutive use, drugs disrupt the users brain function and make it very difficult to quit. Because of the nature of this disease, anyone who uses drugs and alcohol consistently can become addicted.
However, its important to note that not everyone who tries drugs or alcohol will become addicted. There are certain risk factors, or vulnerabilities, that make a person more susceptible to the disease.
Risk factors increase a persons chances for drug abuse and addiction.
Protective factors reduce a persons risk of abusing drugs.
One of the most critical risk factors for addiction is early drug abuse. During the teen and young adult years, the brain is still growing. When drugs are introduced during this period of development, it creates a higher potential for addiction . As cited in an article from the Partnership to End Addiction, a significant 90 percent of people with addictions started using substances during their teenage years.
Do People Choose To Keep Using Drugs
The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. But with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired. This impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.12 These changes help explain the compulsive nature of addiction.
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Daily Environmental Influences And Pressures Contribute
As previously mentioned, societal and cultural influences can also play a role in addiction. Young people can easily give in to peer pressure. This is also true of adults. Such behavior is common as it is human nature to want and need to belong to and be accepted by a group of peers. These circumstances can be dangerous for anyone however, it is particularly risky for individuals with addiction genes.
Lifestyle choices are another association with risky environmental influences. Individuals who are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle of eating right, exercising, drinking plenty of water and sleeping enough will help reduce the likelihood of developing substance abuse or addiction. However, even healthy people can become addicts in the right environment.
Environmental factors can weigh heavily on any individual, such as bad relationships, poor role models, financial limitations, unemployment, negative friends, stress, unhealthy family dynamics, and many others. A person who has a busy social calendar of events filled with alcohol or other substances can also lead to a substance use disorder. And the type of people one chooses to associate with, as well asparents and their substance use behavior, can also have a direct impact on the outcome of drug and alcohol use.
A Weak Network Of Friendships
We depend on our friendships to steer us in the right direction and to help us deal with the problems in our personal lives. We also use our friendships to blow off steam, whether its through going out to dance at a concert or playing a sport together.
These kinds of healthy expressions of our emotions and our energy keep us from focusing and obsessing on negative issues. A strong network of friends sees when someone in their circle is having a problem and can intervene when they feel the friend needs someone to listen.
While our friends shouldnt take the place of a therapist, they do play a therapeutic role in everyday life.
People who lack a strong network of friends to call or text when things get hard will find themselves vulnerable to addiction. They could find comfort in food, in negative thinking, illicit substances, or even a combination of the three.
This is a cocktail that good friends can help you from steering yourself into. They will speak up or tell you when they think youre off the track you want to be on.
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What Are 4 Risk Factors For Addiction
Risk Factors for Addiction Genetics, Environment, Medical History, Age, Type of Drug, Method of Use, Prevention. Other factors that put a person at risk for addiction include parental substance abuse, trauma, and lack of social ties. These are called individual factors and are part of the big three in the areas of risk: individual, environmental and genetic. Environmental factors include high availability of medicines, poverty, lack of laws and enforcement, and social norms.
Anyone can develop an addiction, regardless of their background, social status, or beliefs. It can be difficult to understand why some people are more susceptible to it than others. Regardless of a person’s moral code or the way they were raised, there are many factors that can increase the risk of being an alcoholic or drug addict. Genetics, medical history, environment, and other risk factors can contribute to addiction.
Some drugs, as well as the ways to take them, are also more addictive than other types. One of the main risk factors for addiction is heredity. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that up to half of a person’s risk of addiction to alcohol, drugs, or nicotine is reduced to genetics. That’s why it’s common for those with family members who have experienced an addiction to become addicts themselves.
For example, a person who takes prescription pain relievers after surgery may be at risk of addiction to prescription medications. . .
Descriptive Data And Inter
First, one-way ANOVAs were used to investigate effects of age and gender on SMA in the total sample. Univariate analyses indicated that there is no significant difference by age but that the samples differed by gender . Females are more likely than males to be addicted to social media. Thus, the first step was to control for the effects of gender in the regression analyses. Next, a correlation analysis was performed on the influencing factors of SMA in the total sample. Bivariate correlations between variables are presented in Table 1.
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Availability Of Drugs At School
Peers and school significantly impact an individuals risk of developing drug addiction later in life. A students friends and peers have a major influence on them during their teenage years, especially people who have low self-esteem or are socially insecure. Their peers may pressure them to try drugs at a young age. When these substances are widely available in a school environment, students at this vulnerable age are more likely to try them and develop an addiction. A 2021 study identified high school as a critical risk period for drug addiction and substance abuse.
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Environmental Risk Factors For Addiction
An individuals environment is also one of the prominent risk factors for substance abuse. Environmental factors are those related to the family, school, and neighborhood. Factors that can increase a persons risk include the following:
- Home and Family A teen who lacks parental involvement or lives in an abusive home often will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their emotions
- Peers and School- Friends and other peers can have an increasingly strong influence during the teen years. Teens who use drugs can sway even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time.Teens are faced with peer pressure and can easily be influenced to experiment with substances to fit in.
An individuals environment is also one of the prominent risk factors for substance abuse. A teen who lacks parental involvement or lives in an abusive home often will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their emotions. Teens are faced with peer pressure and can easily be influenced to experiment with substances to fit in.
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What Is Drug Use
Drug use, or misuse, includes:
- Using illegal substances, such as
- Misusing prescription medicines, including opioids. This means taking the medicines in a different way than the health care provider prescribed. This includes
- Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
- Using the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. For example, instead of swallowing your tablets, you might crush and then snort or inject them.
- Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
- Misusing over-the-counter medicines, including using them for another purpose and using them in a different way than you are supposed to
Drug use is dangerous. It can harm your brain and body, sometimes permanently. It can hurt the people around you, including friends, families, kids, and unborn babies. Drug use can also lead to addiction.
What Are Risk Factors For Developing An Addiction
Risk factors are characteristics that make an individual more susceptible to substance use disorders.
The age someone starts using alcohol or drugs is a significant risk factor. The earlier someone starts using substances, the greater their chances of developing a substance use disorder, and the more severe their illness is likely to be. Ninety percent of Americans with a substance use disorder began using substances before the age of 18.
Research also suggests that genetic factors account for about half of a persons likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. While we cant change our genetics, knowing about a family history of addiction should empower us to make different decisions about our substance use.
Other factors that put a person at risk for an addiction include parental substance misuse, trauma, and a lack of social attachments. These are called individual factors and theyre part of the big three in areas of risk — individual, environmental and genetic. Environmental factors include high drug availability, poverty, a lack of laws and enforcement, and social norms.
For every risk factor, there is a protective factor to counter-balance it. Strengthening the protective factors that we can control is important for both preventing the illness in other family members and relatives as well as supporting an individual with a substance use disorder in recovery.
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Mental Health Issues Can Lead To Addiction
Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders are also risk factors of addiction. One reason for this is that various substances are used to lessen symptoms associated with mental health issues.
This can include the use of a substance to give a feeling of euphoria, increase motivation and confidence, alleviate stress, and manage mood swings.
Research on mental disorders and addiction has also found that mental health issues can increase risk-taking behaviours, such as consuming alcohol or taking illicit drugs.
Studies suggest that people suffering from mental health issues are also less inhibited and have impaired judgement. This leads to a lack of self-control and increased substance abuse, which, in turn, increases the chances of addiction.
Varying Methods And Addiction
There are many ways that substances can enter the bloodstream. This can include:
- Oral consumption
Not only do different methods increase the speed at which a substance enters the body, but they can determine the rate at which an individual can become substance dependent.
Injecting or smoking, for example, are considered the quickest methods and the most addictive. This is because a substance taken in this manner quickly enters the bloodstream and then the brain.
This is more addictive because is it more euphorigenic than other methods.
Also, research has found that the quicker a substance reaches the brain, the more likely it is to negatively impact inhibitory control of behaviour.
Consumption, on the other hand, takes longer for the body to process before it reaches the bloodstream and the brain the effects are less immediate.
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