Risk Factors for Substance Use Disorders

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With the opioid epidemic gaining more and more attention, the issue of addiction is being researched like never before. Researchers have been able to pinpoint risk factors for developing a substance use disorder. This data has become instrumental in identifying people who are at risk and implementing early intervention techniques to lower their risk. Read on to find out if you or someone you know is at risk for developing a substance use disorder, so that you can intervene early.

Genetics

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, genetics account for 50%-75% of the risk for developing a substance use disorder. This means that if your blood relative has this type of disorder, you are at risk for developing one as well.

Environmental Factors

People who have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or trauma are more likely to develop a substance use disorder. So are people who witness family members, friends, or peers using drugs or alcohol excessively or in an addicted manner. When someone has access to addictive substances, or is exposed to media such as music and TV that depict drug and alcohol use, they are at an increased risk for developing a substance use disorder.

Psychological Factors

People with an existing mental health condition like anxiety or depression are more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who do not. If someone already has a process addiction like gambling, food, or porn, he or she is at an increased risk as well. Additionally, people who struggle with impulse control and thrill seeking are also at a greater risk for developing a substance use disorder.

Age of First Use

People who begin drinking alcohol or using drugs earlier in life are more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who wait until adulthood.

Just because someone is at risk for developing a substance use disorder does not mean they are guaranteed to. Possessing risk factors means your chances of developing a substance use disorder are higher than someone who does not have these risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater the chances are that you will develop a disorder, unless you intervene. Interventions like therapy and medication, if appropriate, can help lower someone’s risk.

If you feel you could benefit from counseling to prevent or treat a substance use disorder, contact Rehab After Work today to schedule an intake appointment. You can learn more about our programs here on our website to see what treatment options might be best for you.

 

References:

  1. https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction/addiction-risk-factors
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicing-effective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/risk-protective-factors
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-among-children-adolescents/chapter-1-risk-factors-protective-factors

Article Written by Shaylyn Forte, LPC, CAADC