Presenting the primary risk factors that are needed to be acknowledged to know whether you’re chances of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs are high.
What’s Wrong With Society
While people are slowly adhering to the existence and prevalence of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, there’s still a lot of work that should be done for de-stigmatizing the perseverance of alcohol and substance abuse. Although a lot of open-minded people are now more understanding of the history and causes of mental illnesses, people who have a dependence on alcohol or drugs are often accused of personal illnesses. This notion is due to the belief that anyone who can “turn on” their addiction can turn it off.
This kind of conviction is immensely damaging because it suppresses an essential dialogue about addiction which then results in people not being properly educated to the fundamentals of the illness. Lack of understanding and awareness can lead to ignorance of the fact that you’re slowly succumbing closer and closer to becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict.
Primary Risk Factors
There are three discernable risk factors which can upsurge the likelihood of alcohol or drug dependence to develop and be a full-blown addiction.
- Pre-existing Mental Illness
To numb the pain and to silence the voices inside your head, you quickly pop a few pills or open a bottle of whiskey. People who have PTSD, depression, and anxiety sometimes divert their attention to negative coping mechanisms as a quick fix for their extreme mental and emotional distress. “Depression is a mental illness frequently co-occurring with substance use,” says Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC.
If you currently have a mental disorder, you should be very mindful about the dosage of your pills and avoiding alcohol consumption. Studies show that people who have depression are three to four times more likely to become alcoholics than those who don’t have the condition.
- Impaired Stress Management Routines
Turns out, substance abuse, alcoholism, and chronic stress are all linked. Chronic stress can severely cause changes in the brain, making people more susceptible to addiction. Keep in mind that people manage stress differently, while others are swinging it, others may have a hard time keeping up that, for stress to be relieved, they result to excessive drinking and increased substance intake. According to Abby Aronowitz, PhD, the director of SelfHelpDirectives.com, “The key is how often you are feeling this sense of distress, how bad it gets, and how long it lasts; that is what can help determine the seriousness of your situation.”
Sometimes, it goes on immediate instinct to reach for a bottle of wine and drench in its goodness. Though this may not mean indulging in a glass or two of delicious chardonnay will automatically qualify you as an addict, but if you find yourself doing so in inopportune hours of the day, you have a high risk for getting addicted to its comforting, numbing feeling.
- Family History
Heredity is not the only determinant of who has the highest tendency of leaning towards substance abuse; however, genetics is being accounted for relatively half the risk for addiction and alcoholism. While no particular gene has been pointed out to prompt addiction, researchers have indicated the significance of biological and genetic factors like a huge game-changer whether a person is likely to abuse alcohol or drugs.
Kids who grew up with members of the family suffering from addiction are potentially vulnerable to get addicted later in life. But this does not mean that you automatically get transformed into an addict just because you have siblings or parents who have been a substance or alcohol abusers. Your coping mechanism and healthy mindset still play a considerable factor in veering away from the condition.
The bottom line is if you were able to pinpoint one or more risk factors currently occurring in your life and you feel like you’re slowly reaching for more pills or alcohol more often than you used to, talking to a healthcare professional is advised. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “Drug addiction and alcohol addiction is usually not easily overcome on one’s own. Most people who face an addiction to a substance or alcohol need additional help.” Always be mindful of what you take and never be ashamed to ask for help.