Drug and alcohol addiction are horrible diseases that can tear relationships and families apart, ruin careers and obliterate a person’s health. Addictions are slow and sneaky, and they don’t present themselves as serious problems until they already have you in their deathly grip. An addiction can stem and develop from many different risk factors.
- Genetic risk factors
- Environmental risk factors
- Severe psychological disorders
- Generalized anxiety, loneliness and depression
Genetic Risk Factors
Genetic differences in certain individuals could put them at a higher risk for becoming addicted. Scientists and researchers are currently searching the human genome to find these addiction genes. Some people have them and others don’t. If you have an addiction gene, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely become addicted. It just means that you may be more vulnerable than others. For those individuals who have the addiction genes, it may or may not be obvious. For example, you might have the genes and also have an addicted parent or grandparent. But you might have the genes and have perfectly normal family members who are not addicted. The bottom line is that some people’s addictions grow from this area of their lives. They have no control over their genes, which makes this risk factor one of the hardest to deal with. If anything, knowing that you have addiction genes could at least put you on guard.
Environmental Risk Factors
The environment that someone spends their time in is huge in terms of developing or not developing an addiction. The environment includes your family, the friends or co-workers you spend most of your time with, the school you attend or the place you work and the city or town where you grew up and live. Peer pressure is often something that sadly spurs addiction in people who were otherwise clean. This type of addiction may start as a dare or a joke. Someone might offer you something, and you might take it to fit in. The point is that the drug or drink won’t likely be that important to you at first. But that is how addiction starts. You think you’ll only do it once with the kids on your block and the next thing you know, you’re strung out every night.
Severe Psychological Disorders
Dual diagnosis is the simultaneous diagnosis of an addiction and a severe psychological disorder like manic depression or bipolar disorder. Getting a dual diagnosis in an addiction treatment facility is very common among addicts. No one really knows whether the drug addiction or the psychological disorder comes first or whether they arrive at the same time. Some individuals struggle with their psychological disorder without knowing it’s even there. In school, they may have been miscast as a problem student who liked to make mischief or wasn’t intelligent. If their issues in school really had to do with a psychological disorder, they might never have known it, and this might have made them try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Of course, these two issues can spiral someone completely out of control, and all the while, these troubled individuals wouldn’t know the cause of any of it.
Generalized Anxiety, Loneliness and Depression
Addiction can also stem from generalized anxiety, loneliness or depression. These issues are not as serious and severe as something like bipolar disorder or manic depression, but they are certainly issues that can develop into addictions. Some professionals are calling stress and anxiety the plague of our time. People get so worried about work, school, family, friends, health and finances that they turn to substances for relief. They want time away from their stresses, and they think that the only thing that can offer them that is alcohol or drugs. Many people also develop addictions when they go through a difficult life event such as a divorce, loss of a loved one or financial upset. It’s important to keep perspective during these times and not turn to substances for relief. This will only make things worse.
The Benefits of Seeking Inpatient Treatment
There are many routes to treating addiction, but only a few of them truly work. There is no 100% cure for addiction. There is only rehabilitation, recovery and sobriety. The best way to reach these goals is to find them in an inpatient treatment facility. Here, clients are surrounded by professionals who care about their recovery in a substance-free setting. The stresses of work, school, family, friends, health and finances are lifted away during this time so that recovery can be focused on. If you, or someone you know, are struggling with addiction, it’s time to seek help from professionals. Recovery should be sought on your own, but there are addiction treatment centers that can offer you the resources you need. Make the call today to get started.