Drug addiction is more common in some families and probably involves a genetic predisposition. Addiction can happen to anyone of any background, social status, race, or gender. However, it is scientifically proven that many people have higher risk factors for substance abuse and addiction than others. There are certain factors that increase a person's risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction.
Genetics, family history, mental health and the environment are some of the risk factors for susceptibility to addictions. Risk factors can influence drug abuse in several ways. The more risks a child is exposed to, the more likely the child will abuse drugs. Some risk factors may be more powerful than others at certain stages of development, such as peer pressure during adolescence; just as some protective factors, such as a strong bond between parents and children, may have a greater impact on reducing risks during the early years.
An important goal of prevention is to change the balance between risk factors and protective factors so that protective factors outweigh risk factors. The home environment has a major impact on a person's risk of drug abuse and addiction. Teens are at greater risk if they live in chaotic homes where there is little parental or adult supervision. This type of home environment can be the result of parents or older family members suffering from a mental disorder, engaging in criminal behavior, or abusing drugs or alcohol.
On the other hand, a nurturing home environment, as well as clear rules of conduct in the home, can be protective factors that reduce the potential for drug abuse. Research has clearly shown that the availability of medicines in a person's home, school, or community is one of the key risk factors for a person developing drug-related problems. For example, prescription drug abuse, which has been on the rise in recent years, is taking place at the same time as a sharp increase in prescriptions. This increased availability, combined with a lack of understanding of the dangers of prescription drug misuse, affects the risk of addiction.
Drugs exert a lasting influence on the developing brain that can increase a person's vulnerability to drug abuse and addiction in the future. Although many people will have multiple factors that contribute to their addiction, others may have only a few, and some may have only one factor contributing to their addiction. Substances that are available in a person's social group can also increase risk factors for addiction. While the factors that contribute to addiction and the risk factors for addiction are very similar, when analyzing risk factors, it is important to deepen the exploration of the human psyche.
A person's unique biology, genes, age, gender, and other factors play a role in their risk of experimenting with drugs and becoming addicted. Both the cause of addiction and the development of mental health disorders can be affected by factors such as genetics, history of trauma, and the environment. 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 alcohol or drug addict. Genes, combined with other factors, are estimated to contribute between 40 and 60% of the risk of drug addiction.
The experience of addiction or substance use is different for each individual and there is often a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that can contribute to a person struggling with addiction or substance use. A person's environment, or the people, places, and things they're exposed to can also influence whether they develop an addiction. Mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety are also contributing factors to substance abuse and addiction problems. Risk factors that contribute to addiction are biological or environmental, or many different combinations of both types of factors.