“Everyone knows” that family history plays a big role in one’s life, whether that be for a certain kind of illness or some sort of addiction. Looking into your own addiction risk factors allows you to know how best to proceed, particularly if they indicate that you are in danger of developing habits of substance abuse.
Determining Your Personal Addiction Risk Factors
Many people think that the kinds of tragedies centered around addiction could never happen to them or to someone they care about… until they happen. Ideally, everyone would know their level of risk for developing an addiction so that they can best prepare and defend against it in whatever form that might take. The most obvious is family history, since this kind of chemistry is passed down genetically and might pose a threat to a person even without their having, for example, problems with self control.
“Our genes help determine how we metabolize drugs and the intensity of the pleasure that they give us. Genetic influences also affect our levels of dopamine and other mood regulators in the brain.” Essentially, genetics play the largest role in determining addiction risk factors since it affects brain chemistry and how appealing the effects of drugs and alcohol will be to one person as compared with another. Professionals will usually suggest that those with, say, a family history of alcoholism avoid drinking entirely to avoid developing an addiction.
How early in life a person is exposed to drinking or drugs is also a big influence on the potential for developing an addiction. Those who are in high school or even college (essentially, before the legal drinking age, and before their brains have finished developing) are considered to be at a much higher risk than if they waited. Since many binge drinking habits are practiced in teenage years, this is a serious concern.
We’ve talked before about the impact of trauma, crisis, and change in a person’s life, and how those things can make it easier for them to fall into patterns of addiction. When someone is fired, when a loved one dies, when a parent was abusive in childhood: these are all occurrences that would add to one’s risk factors for the development of an addiction. These kinds of circumstances are difficult enough on their own, which is often why people will try to cope, or feel better, by turning to the use of substances. While this may appear to “work” for a while, it isn’t a solution by any means, and will lead them down a dangerous and unhealthy path.
Trauma, which may have happened in childhood and “stopped” since, or which may even be ongoing, is a similar situation. “When trauma victims try to medicate their pain with alcohol or other drugs, they place themselves at high risk for developing an addiction.” A group that is often overlooked within this category are veterans, those who suffer from PTSD and who may turn to drinking or drug use in order to forget or to feel better. People who experience trauma have to be aided by society rather than ignored so that they can get the help that they need to withstand the lure of substance use.
If you are worried about your own addiction risk factors, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px” background_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”#747474″ icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/]
About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]