The Top Risk Factors for Addiction &
What You Can Do About Them

One of the most disheartening aspects of addiction is the way that it can truly affect anyone. Addiction is a disease, and like any disease, there are risk factors, symptoms, and treatments, all of which can differ from person to person based on their individual needs.

Identifying the root causes of addiction is an important part of rehab and recovery, but when it comes to certain risk factors for addiction, some things are not always in your control. Let’s take a look at several such factors and how they can be addressed.

Your Family History

There’s strong evidence that addiction issues run in the family, and if you’ve had close relatives battle alcoholism or drug addiction, there is a higher chance you might have a predisposition to addiction yourself. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that around half a person’s risk of becoming addicted to a substance is based on genetics. [1] Your exact addiction might not be identical to ones that run in your family, but the addictive component is something to look out for.

In some cases, knowing that a family member has struggled with addiction means that you can better assess and manage your own risk for addiction. You might be able to notice behaviors in yourself (or others) that match the addictive behaviors you’ve seen on display before. If anyone in your family has also gone through treatment, maybe they became a better role model in the process, and their wisdom can be passed on.

Man Consulting To Specialist

Your Life Experiences

We are often a product of the company we keep, and that’s especially true when it comes to substance abuse. Addressing the risk factors in your immediate environment may involve some hard choices. For example, if you surround yourself with people that make substance abuse feel normal, you’re more susceptible to normalizing it yourself.

However, you may not be able to recognize a toxic environment if it’s all you’ve ever known — for example, if you grew up around others who were abusing drugs or alcohol. In fact, childhood trauma has been shown to play a role in developing a substance use disorder. Children who witness things like domestic abuse and substance abuse, or experience poor treatment (possibly as a result of substance abuse), are more likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors themselves. [2]

This is why, at rehab facilities like Extra Mile Recovery, we offer trauma-focused addiction treatment, or EMDR. Under the guidance of a professional, you’ll identify a past trauma and its triggers, and then link them to healthier thought patterns. Which leads us to the last risk factor:

Your Mental Health

There’s been a clear link established in clinical circles between mental health and addiction. If someone is having difficulty with conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental illness, they may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. [3]

Being able to recognize how your mental health, environment, and family history influence each other is an important step in your recovery, and understanding what to look for when it comes to managing your mental health — including knowing when to ask for help — can help decrease your risk for relapse.

Learning About & Managing Addiction Risk at Extra Mile Recovery

Just because someone is at a higher risk for addiction doesn’t mean that this will define them. At Extra Mile Recovery, part of our holistic approach to rehab is learning about what risk factors played a role in developing someone’s addiction in the first place, and how we can address that moving forward in recovery.

We’re an all-male inpatient addiction treatment center located in the peaceful secluded forests of Mantachie, Mississippi, where we’re proud to offer a rehab program tailored to every client’s individual needs. We’re always happy to help with any questions you might have, and if you or a loved one are struggling, give us a free, confidential call to see how we can help.

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