While you’re young, your self awareness may not be at its peak. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself informed. If you’ve spent your life around an addicted family member, you may already have the drive to live life on the straight and narrow.
The damage done to yourself and others by addiction can be unimaginable and sometimes irreparable. It’s best to learn the risk factors, and be aware if you are at high risk for becoming as addict. You may need to rethink that next drink:
Genetics play a role in addiction
Finding yourself in the midst of a battle with addiction doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. Addiction doesn’t mean that you are a person of low morals or worth. The way the brain works in those who are more prone to addiction is much different than those who are not.
This is why some people can drink one beer with dinner, and others feel the need to get drunk every time they touch alcohol. Heredity is a huge deciding factor in your risk of becoming an addict.
If you grew up in a family of addicts, you are far more likely to develop an addiction as well. The best way to handle the risk is to abstain from damaging addictive substances and behaviors.
Mental illness is a risk factor for addiction
Mental illness is a huge contributing factor in your risk for addiction. An unbelievably high percentage of those who struggle with mental illness also struggle with addiction. It’s no wonder, really. Mental illness leads to pharmaceutical treatments, and those pills are addictive.
Those who don’t seek treatment for their mental health issues often self medicate. Self medication is commonly counterproductive and harmful to the individual.
Environmental factors play a role
Your surroundings make a difference in your risk of becoming an addict. If you surround yourself with drugs and alcohol, you’re more likely to integrate their use into your daily routine. Developing a habit takes time, and contrary to popular belief, you do have the chance to opt out.
Surround yourself with positive people that live fruitful lives, and you will push yourself to do the same. Success mirrors success, but the same rule applies to failure. Set yourself up for success.
Your drug of choice can play a role
The drug you choose to dabble with will play a significant role in your risk of becoming an addict. Some addictions progress much more quickly than others.
For instance, if your drug of choice is cocaine or heroin, the comedown is much more painful. The need to use again is often much more persistent than those who dabble with marijuana or alcohol.
If you struggle with addiction or someone close to you does, don’t feel you can’t get help. Help is definitely available to you.