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Are some people more prone to addiction than others?

alcoholicWhy can some people drink or do drugs without becoming addicted? Are there reasons that some people become addicts while others do not? Research has proved that there are certain risk factors that make some people more prone to addiction than others. What are they?

  • Addiction has nothing to do with age, but it can be influenced by the age at which you start using alcohol or drugs. Those who start when they are in their teens are more likely to have problems with addiction as adults. Why? During adolescence, the brain is still developing. Not only is it sensitive to drugs and alcohol, it’s also more vulnerable to addiction.
  • Both men and women become addicts, so gender doesn’t play a role, but genetics and family history do. Like other health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, addiction can have a genetic component. People whose family members have a history of drug abuse or alcoholism may have a genetic predisposition to addiction. Having that genetic predisposition doesn’t mean you will definitely become addicted, but it does mean you may be more vulnerable to the possibility.
  • Addiction also affects people at all economic levels. Neither wealth nor poverty are risk factors in and of themselves, but environmental factors in the home and community do play a part. Growing up with addicted parents or in an abusive home increases the chances of abusing drugs or alcohol. Living in a dangerous community or one where drug and alcohol abuse are widespread can lead to addiction.
  • Other illnesses can make you more susceptible to addiction. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder or problems with impulse control, or post-traumatic stress disorder, you are at greater risk of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs.

None of these factors mean that you will definitely become addicted to alcohol or drugs, just that you need to be careful. And the good news is, drug and alcohol addictions are treatable. If you are seeking a treatment program to help you beat an addiction, find one that focuses on the causes and contributing factors. At Horizon Health Services, we can help you identify and deal with the sources of your addiction – or help you find someone who can. Call us today at (716) 831-1800.