Addiction risk factors are factors that can help determine whether you will become addicted to drugs or alcohol at some point in your life. The exact reason for addiction in some people is not fully known, but if you have one or more addiction risk factors then your chances of becoming addicted to or dependent on alcohol or drugs is much higher. The 3 most important addiction risk factors are:
- Age and Developmental Stage- Drugs and alcohol can lead to addiction, but the age and the developmental stage when the substance abuse starts will be a determining factor in addiction. This is one of the addiction risk factors that is used when treating adolescents and young adults. If you start to drink or use drugs during the early teen years then you are more likely to develop a problem with addiction at some point in your life.
- Genetics and Biology- Genetic factors and biology are also one of the top addiction risk factors. Science has proven that if you come from a family that has addiction issues you are more than twice as likely to experience these same issues yourself. Many mental illnesses have a genetic component, and mental illness and substance abuse often go hand in hand as well.
- Environmental Factors- Environmental factors take into account the influences of your friends, family, society as a whole, and your home environment. If you have ever been abused, either mentally, physically, or sexually, then you are more likely to become addicted if you start drinking or using drugs. If you grew up in a home where alcohol or drug use was common you are also at a greater risk for addiction.