Risk Factors for AddictionGenetics, environment, medical history, age, type of medication, method of use, prevention. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a survey showing that adults ages 18 to 24 are more susceptible to developing drug and alcohol use disorders. If a person drinks alcohol or uses drugs when they are young, this can have negative effects on their brain development and make them more prone to mental illness when they are older. Most experts believe that anyone can become addicted to alcohol or other drugs.
Some substances, such as nicotine and heroin, are so addictive that excessive or daily use can cause addiction in anyone. However, most people who try substances don't progress to excessive use or addiction. Risk factors are only indicators of the possibility of a problem occurring. While they can be useful in identifying children who are vulnerable to developing problems with alcohol or other drugs, they are not necessarily predicative for a particular child.
Children who grow up under adverse conditions often mature into healthy, well-functioning adults. In addition, the use of risk factors to label children presents its own risk. As a result, increasing attention is being paid to factors that appear to protect children from developing problems related to alcohol or other drugs. There are no simple solutions to help young people at high risk of developing problems with alcohol or other drugs.
Reducing risk factors and building resilience are part of a comprehensive prevention approach and are consistent with a public health approach to reducing problems. The more a program reduces risk factors and increases protective factors, the more likely it is to succeed in preventing substance abuse among children and young people. Taking some medications can be particularly risky, especially if you take high doses or combine them with other medications or alcohol. Managing and treating underlying mental health conditions, or understanding how emotional and behavioral problems can trigger or increase substance use, is important to reduce risk and prevent co-occurring disorders (that is, when mental health and substance use problems occur at the same time).
). Long-term risk factors, for example, those that persist from childhood to adolescence, are also associated with an increased likelihood of substance abuse in young people. For example, strong protection, such as parental support and involvement, could lessen the influence of significant risks, such as having partners who abuse substances. Children who have had a history of trauma (such as having witnessed or experienced violence or abuse) have been shown to be at greater risk of using substances and addictions later in life.
Although some people are more likely to develop an addiction than others because of certain factors, some of which are beyond their control, you can never be too careful when it comes to drugs. Not all young people will develop substance abuse problems, even if they have experienced these risk factors. While certain risk factors for addiction may make it seem almost impossible to break the cycle of substance abuse, help is just a single call away. Understanding the risk factors for addiction can help a person avoid experimenting with drugs in the first place.
If left unaddressed, negative behaviors can lead to more risks, such as academic failure and social difficulties, putting children at greater risk of drug abuse later on. Substance use or addiction in the family or among colleagues; easy access to nicotine, alcohol, or drugs; and more frequent exposure to popular culture and advertising that encourage substance use may contribute to increased risk. In order to address the prevention of HIV and STDs, high-risk substance use is any use by adolescents of substances with a high risk of adverse outcomes (i). The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that up to half of a person's risk of developing a drug, alcohol, or nicotine dependence can be attributed to genetics.
For example, a person who takes prescription pain relievers after surgery may be at risk of being addicted to prescription drugs. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lead to an increased risk of problematic substance use and addiction. . .