woman considers risk factors that can lead to addiction

Addiction does not happen overnight. It occurs gradually, but various factors can accelerate the process. If you expose yourself to certain behaviors, you're more likely to experiment with drugs like heroin. The experimentation can potentially spiral into addiction. However, it’s essential to understand what the risk factors are. Then, people can make the right decisions and take the proper steps to prevent substance abuse.

Who Is Susceptible to Risk Factors for Addiction?

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. As a result, certain risk factors that might make someone more vulnerable to substance abuse might not be an issue for someone else. Researchers compiled these risk factors to help them determine someone’s risk of substance abuse. However, these factors do not guarantee that someone will develop a problem. They are used to broaden awareness and ensure that the community is informed.

The following can increase a person’s risk of drug and/or alcohol abuse:


A person’s risk of developing a substance abuse problem is not only related to their environment and interaction with family members. Some people's genes make them more susceptible to the effects of drugs and alcohol. This can increase their risk of substance abuse and can even make it harder for them to stop. However, this does not guarantee that they will develop a problem.


In addition to the genetic component, exposure to parents or family members who abuse drugs and alcohol can increase a person’s risk of developing a problem. This is especially critical in a household with young children. If exposed to parents or older siblings with substance abuse problems, children are at higher risk of developing substance abuse problems later in life.

Peer Pressure

Young adults are more likely to be affected by peer pressure from classmates and friends to engage in risky behavior, such as experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol. To fit in and appear mature, children with relatively no risk factors may have friends who coerce them into trying drugs and alcohol.

Young adults are not only susceptible to the allure of drugs and alcohol because of their curious and adventurous nature. Traumatic experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse, in combination with early exposure, can motivate young adults to escape their reality with drugs and alcohol. Moreover, the region of the brain that controls a person’s ability to evaluate circumstances, make informed choices, and manage feelings is underdeveloped in children. Researchers believe that the effects of drugs on the area, called the pre-frontal cortex, may be responsible for children’s continued substance abuse later into adulthood.

Do These Risk Factors Always Lead to an Addiction?

These risk factors increase a person’s chances of developing a substance abuse problem. However, it does not guarantee that it will happen. Ultimately, the best way to counteract these risk factors is preventative education. Learn what risk factors affect you. Then, find strategies to implement in your daily life. You can use these to help decrease your risk of developing a substance abuse problem.

Reach Out to San Antonio Recovery Center Today

If you are struggling with an addiction, the time to get help is now. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we assist people just like you find the root cause of their addiction. Once they find that, we can treat the addiction and help them come up with coping strategies to avoid relapse. Some of our programs include:

For more information on how the programs at San Antonio Recovery Center can assist you, contact our staff by dialing 866.957.7885 or contact us online. Together, we can fight addiction.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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