pensive woman worrying about risk factors for addiction

Risk Factors for Addiction

Risk Factors for Addiction

All psychoactive substances have the potential to cause addiction and dependence. Addiction doesn’t have a known cause, meaning that anyone can develop a substance abuse disorder. However, there are several major risk factors for addiction.

Addiction has serious consequences. Struggling with a substance abuse disorder can make it difficult to maintain regular employment, healthy relationships, and financial stability. Addiction can also lead to serious medical problems and aggravate underlying comorbid and co-occurring disorders.

Risk Factors for Addiction

Addiction is a severe and chronic mental health disease. It gets progressively worse, causing changes to your thinking process, emotions, and behaviors. One of the biggest risk factors for addiction is having a parent with an addiction history.

Growing up in a household where family members abuse drugs and alcohol can set a poor example of how to cope with problems and conflict. Some other notable risk factors for addiction include:

  • Having a mental health disorder
  • Experiencing trauma, especially during childhood
  • Having an increased sensitivity to drugs and alcohol
  • Experiencing instability
  • Using drugs or alcohol at a young age
  • Having friends who use drugs or alcohol

When considering risk factors for addiction, it’s important to remember that legal, prescription and illicit drugs all can cause substance abuse problems. Even though substances like alcohol are legal to purchase, they can still lead to abuse and dependency.

Other risk factors for addiction center on your environment. For example, living in an area where drugs are widely available can increase your risk of experimenting with drugs.

How Addiction is Treated

When you develop a substance abuse disorder, you can become physically and/or psychologically dependent. Physical dependence means your body needs your substance of choice in order to function normally, which in turn causes you to deal with withdrawal symptoms when you stop using. Detox symptoms can become severe, which is why completing a medically supervised detox is the best way to stay safe and healthy during the withdrawal phase.

Withdrawal symptoms typically subside within one week of your last use, although cravings can continue for weeks after you stop using. Your brain and body also have to re-learn how to function without the use of drugs and alcohol.

Inpatient programs provide the highest level of care, as you stay on campus 24 hours a day. The heightened level of structure and supervision is great if you struggle with a severe addiction or have multiple treatment attempts. Outpatient programs allow you to return home at night and can allow you to continue to work or attend school while in treatment.

Find Help Today

When you’re battling an addiction, you can feel alone, scared, and hopeless. Addiction takes time to develop and time to recover from. Treatment offers you the ability to have access to the resources, guidance, and support you need to beat addiction and regain control of your life. If you have a question about the risk factors for addiction or would like to discuss your treatment options, reach out to us today at 717.969.9126.

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