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Risk Factors For Addiction

 In Drugs or Alcohol Abuse

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a disorder that damages the areas of the brain that control pleasure and relaxation. Some risk factors make possible the development of addiction.

Since addictive chemicals contain features that can affect judgment and actions, they can significantly impact a person’s behavior. When someone is addicted to a substance, they are unable to control their need to consume it. Even those their behavior can become harmful. To obtain a fix, they’ll lose their jobs and relationships, and depending on how bad things become, they may even end up in legal problems.

Some well-intentioned individuals feel that an addict can simply refuse to use.

That, however, is just not the case. Like heart disease or diabetes, addiction is a chronic illness that affects a person’s ability to function normally.

Genetics And Environment: Which Causes Addiction?

The question if addiction is created by a person’s genetic makeup or the environment in which they live has long been debated. Researchers believe that a person’s genetics can impact their proclivity for substance addiction once they start using them. Some people may be predisposed to addictive behaviors due to a gene or genetic component. And this is activated when they are exposed to specific substances.

Addiction is caused by a combination of genetics and the environment, according to most doctors and experts. One does not always outweigh the other, and both should be taken into account while deciding on the best course of action for an addict.

Environmental Factors For Addiction

As previously said, environmental factors are the things and people that an addict is constantly exposed to. They usually fall into one of six groups:

Family

The family has an impact on people’s lives, but it also has a significant impact on their capacity to recover from addiction and rebuild their lives. For example, someone who grew up in a home with a lot of turmoil or who didn’t have an adult to look up to can be more prone to addiction. People who grew up in a home where alcohol or drug abuse was common are more likely to develop an addiction later in life.

School

Addiction can be influenced by a student’s academic success, devotion to their study, and the availability of good friends. This is especially true for adolescent, teen, and young adult students who face college party culture. If a person is older, their work environment may play a significant influence, particularly if they work in a high-stress, high-stakes profession and require a break from the stress.

Peers

A person who has pals who use and misuse drugs is significantly more likely to do so as well. This, more than any other element, is thought to be the most significant risk factor for addiction. However, close friends aren’t the only ones who can influence a person’s drug or alcohol use. It could be a large peer group at school or the school’s student body’s overall attitude on drugs and alcohol.

Community

Another risk factor is the community. If a person lives in a neighborhood where drug use — and abuse — is common, they are more likely to fall victim to it.

Trauma

There is an established correlation between childhood sexual abuse and adult drug or alcohol addiction. This is especially true if the abuse occurred when the person was a youngster. While this has some overlap with our earlier discussion of the relationship between familial environment and addiction, it is critical to recognize trauma as a separate entity due to the heightened dangers connected with people who have been sexually abused.

Mental Illness

Mental illness, particularly anxiety and despair, can lead to addiction as a side effect. People with mental illnesses may discover that self-medicating with drugs or alcohol helps them feel better. They may not realize they have a mental disorder; instead, they may believe that drinking a few drinks before a party helps them relax. Genetics also plays a big role in mental illness, but the environment also says a lot about this factor.   

Creating A Sober Living Environment

It’s difficult to look back and understand that some of the circumstances stated above contributed to someone you care about being addicted. It is not, however, too late to make certain changes that will promote health and recovery. Just as a person’s environment can contribute to the development of risk factors for addiction, it can also assist an addict in working through treatment and effectively overcoming their addiction.

Create A Low-Stress Environment

Even those this risk factor may seem as important as the others but it is a lot! Every person in recovery will have different needs, so it’s crucial to chat with your loved ones about what they require. If you are a recovering addict, you must speak up and express your needs. Don’t be scared to keep your distance from harmful influences like drug and alcohol-abusing acquaintances or a family member who harmed you as a youngster. Simultaneously, don’t be scared to seek assistance. Perhaps it’s time to move in with a trusted family member or friend who can offer support and accountability during your rehabilitation.

Avoid Major Triggers

Just because someone completes a recovery program does not mean they are “cured.” While this is not often the case, setbacks and relapses are possible. However, the most effective strategy to help a recovering addict is to ensure that their home environment is devoid of triggers that could lead to relapse. They must relearn to trust people, which will occur when they are in an atmosphere where they are cared for. To assist them to continue to fight and conquer the impulses that their addiction produces, the best way to do this is to provide them with a drug and alcohol-free atmosphere.

Don’t Try to Do It Alone

It will be tough to traverse this journey if you do not have the support you require, whether you are a recovering addict or you are helping one. Whatever your past experiences have been, you have most likely felt a great deal of anger and hurt as addiction has engulfed you and your family. It will take time to sort through all of the feelings and experiences that have arisen as a result of addiction and learn how to move forward.

Overcoming Addiction Factors

There is still hope if you or someone you care about is battling with addiction. There is also assistance available. There are a lot of risk factors that can be mixed and cause a lot of problems.

Little Creek Recovery is an addiction recovery center in Pennsylvania specializing in tailored and progressive therapy for alcohol and drug addiction. Our skilled team of specialists creates custom programs that are tailored to the specific demands of each client. We are here for you, no matter what your story is or what your circumstances are. We are prepared to assist you and your loved one in reclaiming the life you once enjoyed. Please contact us for additional details.

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16173210/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/genetics-epigenetics-addiction

https://neuroanthropology.net/2008/05/06/the-genetic-and-environmental-bases-of-addiction/

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