Although addiction is a common disorder, impacting 35 million people across the globe, it’s unpredictable and highly complicated.
It’s unpredictable as it can affect people from all backgrounds, walks of life, exposure levels to drugs and alcohol, and upbringings. It’s a non-discriminatory condition, which can develop for a multitude of reasons. Addiction is recognised as complicated, as various stimuli, triggers, experiences, and outcomes can amount through its development. No two diagnoses are alike, showing how unique and personal an experience is.
Whilst it is unpredictable and complicated, there are some risk factors that can increase the susceptibility of addictive behaviours and stimuli. From personality types and mental illness to social pressures and early use, some behaviours, choices, outlooks, and conditions can increase the likelihood of substance use and habitual disorders.
Here are some associated risk factors of addiction, known to increase the risk of abuse and dependence. If you’re experiencing high risks or already show the signs and symptoms of addiction, reach out here at Action Rehab.
Risks Of Addiction
An addiction can display at any time, for any given reason, for any person. Although a cause will need to be present, to trigger the association that happens between addictive stimuli and recurrent actions, it’s an unpredictable condition.
Similar to illnesses such as cancer, whilst there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of development, a guaranteed diagnosis cannot be gauged.
There are some common risk factors of addiction that can place people in a headspace, environment, routine, or vulnerable circumstance to abuse drugs and alcohol. Focusing on biological, psychological, environmental, social, and accessible factors, risks of addiction can increase.
Here are the associated risk factors of addiction that are recognised to bridge the gap between stimuli and actions.
Common risk factors associated with addiction
Genetic factors: Genetics affect our health and wellbeing. They can increase the risk of certain conditions, known as hereditary conditions. Our biological makeup can also impact our personality type, sensitivity to certain stimuli, and our mental health.
Genetics are a common risk factor associated with addiction. A family history of mental and behavioural vulnerabilities can increase natural susceptibilities, passed down through genes.
Dual diagnosis: Pre-existing mental health issues can trigger an addiction for two key reasons. The first is the direct symptoms of poor mental health, which can be very difficult to live with.
Those who struggle are at greater risk of abusing drugs and alcohol as relaxing and stimulating coping strategies. The second is that mental weakness will already be present through conditions such as depression and anxiety, posing as a risk factor of addiction.
Environmental factors: Associated risk factors of addiction can be linked to surroundings, upbringings, taught behaviours, trauma, and influences. Anything from an accepting environment to a toxic and highly stressful setting is found to induce sensitivities. Social pressures are also linked to environmental factors, such as peer pressure. If exposure to such sensitivities is experienced for long periods of time, the risks of addiction are found to be greater.
Early use: Being exposed to drugs, alcohol, and their effects, at an early age can trigger addiction. Through the developmental stages of adolescence, our body and brain development reach optimal functionality. Any disruptions, such as toxic substances, can impact the process, posing as threats.
The brain can also store memories and experiences. Once paired with a possible trigger, the effects of early use can return, displaying as cravings.
Drug choice: Whilst most drugs are now addictive, those with greater impacts are found to increase the risk of addiction. As effects will be stronger, as tolerances will develop at a quicker pace, and as the reward system will be flooded, drug choice is an associated risk factor of addiction.
Method of choice: The method of consumption can increase the addictiveness of a drug. For example, substances that are injected will enter the bloodstream quicker than those which are indigested. The speed of consumption can result in a stronger hit.
While the effect may be stronger, it will be short-lived, which can motivate further consumption and cravings. Consistent consumption can increase the risk of addiction, especially through certain methods.
While some people will display a number of risk factors, addiction cannot be guaranteed as a future health concern. For others, a single risk factor can cause enough vulnerability, leading to addiction.
The unpredictability of addiction can be difficult to digest, as greater risk should increase the chances of addiction. Yet risks do not guarantee a diagnosis, they instead act as a warning.
There are some preventive measures that can reduce the risk factors of addiction. Self-help, mindfulness, greater awareness of risk, healthy and balanced choices, and controlled consumption can all prevent vulnerabilities. Reasonably, some factors such as genetics cannot be changed. Yet lifestyle choices, outlooks, coping strategies and responses can be, helping to reduce such risks.
It’s very wise to be aware and mindful of associated risk factors, to reduce where possible.
Getting Help For Addiction
If you’re already suffering from an addiction, it’s important to remember that support is available. Possible to experience at a bespoke level, treatments and therapies can be recommended to you personally, depending on your needs and experiences.
Your risk factors will be considered throughout the treatment process, to reduce the risk of relapse post-rehab. For example, if your mental health has triggered your drug and alcohol habits, dual diagnosis treatment will be recommended, to treat both.
If your environment has increased your risks of addiction, changes will be encouraged for your post-rehab journey. If drug choice and method have intensified your risks, all consumption will be discouraged, yet especially your existing selection.
A range of detoxification and rehabilitation treatments can be accessed via drug and alcohol rehab. Treatments will combine to create personalised programmes, ready to treat, control and manage addiction.
Associated risk factors of addiction are found to increase susceptibilities and vulnerabilities to substance abuse. Yet with awareness, mindful decisions, and some preventive measures in place, risks can be minimised. For more information or to access addiction treatment, reach out here at Action Rehab.
Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2021 at 9:33 am in Addiction.