Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is not selective. There are no specific types of people who will develop an addiction – the problem can strike people from all walks of life.

However, some risk factors may make people more likely to use drugs or become susceptible to addiction than others. Things like environment, heredity, diseases, and mental health problems can all make someone more likely to develop an addiction.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the most common risk factors that could contribute to the development of drug addiction.

What Are Risk Factors?

A risk factor is something that can put you at risk of developing a condition, trait, or behavior. In regards to addiction, risk factors are issues that would make you more likely to develop a drug addiction at some point in life.

Understanding risk factors is useful for helping to prevent and manage addictions. While living with one or more of these risk factors by no means guarantees that you will develop an addiction, accepting and understanding these risk factors can help you avoid the possibility entirely.

Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

These are some of the most common risk factors that can increase the likelihood of someone developing an addiction.

A person’s environment – especially during childhood – can have a huge impact on the likelihood of them developing an addiction. Children raised by parents who struggle with addictions, or who grow up in neighborhoods or cities where drug addiction is prevalent are more likely to develop drug addictions later in life.

It’s not just children who are susceptible to their environments, though. An individual who has spent their whole life sober may suddenly be at risk for addiction if they move to a new town where drugs run rampant.

While the link is not exactly clear, there is some evidence that heredity can affect someone’s likelihood to use drugs. People who are born to parents who have had addictions are more likely to use drugs themselves – even if their parents never used drugs around them.

Mental Disorders
People who struggle with mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, are much more likely to use drugs than other people. These drugs may be illicit, or they may be prescribed by a doctor – whatever the case, drug abuse, and addiction are much more common among people who have mental health problems – a problem that leads to a dual diagnosis.

People who seek medical assistance often assume that they are less likely to develop an addiction because their medication will be regulated. Unfortunately, statistically, huge numbers of Americans have gotten addicted to prescription drugs even when taking them according to their doctor’s orders.

Physical Health Problems
People with physical health problems also become more likely to abuse drugs. This is particularly true for people who are prescribed strong prescription painkillers without being properly informed about the risks and dangers involved with using these drugs.

Lack of Education
People who are uneducated about drugs and addiction may simply not see addiction as a threat. This can make them much more likely to use drugs to self-medicate or to have fun, without being aware of any of the repercussions.


Nobody is exempt from the dangers of drug addiction, but some people are more likely to experience problems with drugs than others. Risk factors for drug addiction include mental health problems, education, and environmental issues.

If you or a loved one are at risk of developing an addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help from a rehab facility.

Written By Nigel Ford

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