Examining the Mind: What Are the Top 3 Risk Factors That Can Lead to Drug Abuse?

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Drug abuse doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It’s not because someone is weak or has a lack of self-control. In fact, they might have plenty of self-control in other situations but may still end up suffering from drug addiction. In general, there are a few risk factors that can mean someone is more at risk of ending up with a drug addiction compared to others. The top risk factors are family history, environmental influences, and the age at which someone tries drugs for the first time.

A Family History of Addiction

Any drugs that are taken, whether prescribed or illegally obtained, will certainly have an impact on the body. Many drugs have an impact on the brain as they cause a chemical reaction that could produce a euphoric effect or other seemingly pleasant feelings. This reaction, according to research studies, may be very different in those who are prone to addiction versus those who are not. Someone who has a family history of addiction, whether it’s to drugs, alcohol, gambling, smoking, or anything else, might be more prone to addiction themselves. In fact, many of those who are battling drug addiction have a family history of addiction and have seen their parents suffering from addiction in the past.

Environmental Influences

Just because someone is more prone to addiction doesn’t mean they’re going to be addicted to drugs. Likewise, those who do not have a family history of addiction can still suffer from drug addictions. This is because another major risk factor is the environment they are in. People who do not have parents involved in their lives are more likely to try drugs. Those who are in an area where drugs or alcohol are easily accessible might also be more likely to try drugs and become addicted. The environmental influences in someone’s life, starting when they are young, have a huge impact on whether someone is susceptible to addiction and whether they end up trying drugs in the first place.

Age When Drugs are First Tried

The age when someone tries drugs can have an impact on whether someone becomes addicted. Those who try drugs when they are younger are far more likely to end up addicted to drugs. The younger the person is when first exposed to drugs, the higher the risk is. Plus, drug use at a young age can have an impact on brain development because of the chemical reactions in the brain caused by drugs. This can exacerbate or create mental health issues, which can cause people to turn to drugs to self-medicate. That makes it more likely they’re going to end up addicted to drugs even if they don’t have a family history of addiction and aren’t in an environment that could put them at risk for becoming addicted.

These are the top risk factors that could lead to drug abuse, but someone can be addicted even if they don’t have any of these risks. If you are suffering from drug addiction, there is help available. It doesn’t matter whether you have a family history of addiction if there are environmental influences at play, or how old you were when you first tried drugs. Look into drug addiction treatment today to learn more about the help you can receive and to get started on the path to recovery.