Not everyone who drinks or uses an addictive substance will end up addicted. There’s a reason why people can have a casual drink every now and then without going overboard. It’s because some people are at a higher risk for developing substance abuse disorder than others.
Educating yourself on the factors that put people at a higher risk for addiction can help you to determine if you or a loved one may be at risk. Or, help leads you to the guidance of professional help and treatment.
There are three things that may put an individual at a higher risk for developing an addiction than other people; environment, genetics, and co-occurring mental health conditions.
Environmental Factors That Increase Addiction Risk
Certainly, being around something makes you think about it more often. So, social factors can make people at a higher risk of using drugs or alcohol. You may feel more pressure to drink or use when you’re around certain groups of friends or family.
Along with social factors like being around drug or alcohol use and pressure to use, individuals may also use drugs or alcohol to cope with the stressors of life. Feelings of overwhelming stress and being unable to express emotions can find that drugs or alcohol temporarily help mask their feelings. But, this self-medication often leads to an addictive lifestyle.
When individuals are exposed to environments in which drug or alcohol use is socially acceptable, they may be more likely to start using. Universally, drug and alcohol use is promoted throughout the media as if it’s glorified. These social factors influence a person’s outlook on drug and alcohol use, starting from a young age.
Genetic Factors That can Make Certain People More at Risk for Addiction
Believe it or not, family history plays a part in a person’s risk for addiction. For example, studies show that a particular gene may be passed down genetically, the CREB gene. This specific gene results in higher alcohol tolerance and an increased risk for alcoholism. And, an increased risk for anxiety-related disorders, which are prevalent in people who seek help for addiction or alcoholism.
So, we know that family history and genetics impact a person’s chance of developing an addiction down the line. And, that certain genetics can put certain people at a higher risk for others when it comes to developing substance abuse disorder.
Concurring Mental Health Conditions
Mental health issues and substance abuse disorder go hand in hand. In fact, according to the NIH, a whopping 44% of people with alcoholism and 64.4% of people with other types of addictions are diagnosed with concurring mental health issues. In some cases, mental health issues arise as a result of substance abuse. However, in most cases, addictive behaviors are a result of underlying mental health issues; usually as a result of self-medicating symptoms.
Therefore, if you have a mental health diagnosis, you may be at a higher risk for developing an addiction. And, if you’ve been using drugs or alcohol to deal with the symptoms of your mental health diagnosis, you may already be experiencing the consequences.
Getting Help for Addiction From Willow Place for Women
If you recognize that any of the three factors that can increase a person’s risk for addiction may be affecting your life, it’s not too late. While substance abuse disorder may be a bigger risk for certain individuals, there is always hope for recovery.
Here at Willow Place for Women, we give women living with substance abuse disorder the tools needed to obtain and sustain sobriety. And, offer a number of helpful therapy and supportive outlets to guide women on their recovery journey.
Learn about our outpatient programs and services right from our website. And, contact us today to learn more about how we can help by calling 1-888-651-4212.