Alcohol and Drugs

Above the Influence


All sorts of people can become addicted to drugs from all walks of life young and old, rich and poor, males and females. What you are pointing out is that there are several environmental risk factors that contribute to a person developing drug addiction.

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One of the most powerful risk factors is spending time with other people who use drugs and alcohol. It is important to note, though, that just hanging out with people who smoke pot won't make you into a drug addict. There are a lot of other risk factors that make people become addicted, some of them genetic and some of them environmental.

For instance, research has shown that people who have a lot of stress in their lives (from dealing with a family divorce or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse) have an increased likelihood of developing a drug addiction. Another example of a major risk factor is family history. If you are related to someone with a drug addiction problem, the chances that you will develop an addiction are higher. 

Nowadays, we don't usually say that people have an "addictive personality." Instead, we emphasize that some people are born with a higher genetic risk to develop addictions than others. For instance, people who have a positive experience the first time they take drugs are more likely to develop an addiction. We know this is partially controlled by genetics. Overall, we know that everyone exposed to drugs could become addicted, especially under certain circumstances. This is why it is so important to prevent young people from using drugs in the first place.

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