People of any age, sex or economic status can become addicted to a drug. However, certain factors can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction:
Dec. 05, 2014
- Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. If you have a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with alcohol or drug problems, you're at greater risk of developing a drug addiction.
- Being male. Men are more likely to have problems with drugs than women are. However, progression of addictive disorders is known to be faster in females.
- Having another mental health disorder. If you have a mental health disorder such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or post-traumatic stress disorder, you're more likely to become dependent on drugs.
- Peer pressure. Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting to use and abuse drugs, particularly for young people.
- Lack of family involvement. Difficult family situations or lack of a bond with your parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction, as can a lack of parental supervision.
- Anxiety, depression and loneliness. Using drugs can become a way of coping with these painful psychological feelings and can make these problems even worse.
- Taking a highly addictive drug. Some drugs, such as stimulants, cocaine or painkillers, may result in faster development of addiction than other drugs. However, taking drugs considered less addicting — so-called "light drugs" — can start you on a pathway of drug use and addiction.
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- Alcohol and drug addiction happens in the best of families. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Alcohol-and-Drug-Addiction-Happens-in-the-Best-of-Families/SMA12-4159. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
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- Synthetic drug threats. National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/synthetic-drug-threats.aspx. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
- DrugFacts: Spice ("Synthetic marijuana"). National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/spice-synthetic-marijuana. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
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