substance abuse

Addiction: The Risk Factors that Lead to It

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According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a disease that involves the brain, the environment, and a person’s experiences. With the use of certain substances, people behave in compulsive ways despite the dangerous effects. It is both a health and social concern for almost every country around the world. Because of this, drug treatment programs for youth in places like Utah have become available.

However, how does addiction starts?

Peer Pressure

A child can be described as similar to a blank piece of paper. Over the years, the child accumulates knowledge and experiences. One of these experiences is the joy of friendship. Depending on an individual’s personality, preferences, cultural background, and upbringing, they will start to choose their group of friends. They would want to seek peer approval. Peer approval means the ability to engage and do the same things friends can do. One of these activities may involve trying something that they haven’t tried – whether out of curiosity or to prove that they are one with their group. It may start with alcohol and may, later on, evolve to using controlled substances.

Unresolved Family Issues

The family is the basic unit of society. The family is where an individual should draw their strength in times of problems and difficulties. When family issues are unresolved, a young individual may feel weak or helpless. They may turn to friends or relatives for help and get the appropriate help they need. Yet, a young person may not have the capacity to ask proper support from others and may try to resolve the problem on their own. They can turn to alcoholism or the use of prohibited substances to help them forget the emotional turmoil that unresolved family issues bring.

Medications for Illness

mental illness

Pain is not a good companion. It can come from illnesses and accidents. These pain and diseases can prove to be lifelong companions that may need the use of narcotic analgesics for a long time. An individual that uses narcotics as part of their medical treatment should be monitored. Blood levels should be checked regularly, not only for the effectiveness of the medication but the individual’s reason for use. Health institutions should be able to ensure that controlled drugs are being used only to control pain.

Terminal Illness

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is a heavy burden for any person. The knowledge of having a condition where the hope of recovery is dim puts an individual in a hopeless state. The hopelessness of the situation can bring forth many ideas to mind, including abusing the use of chemicals and substances. A reliable support system should be available to the individual to ensure that the quality of life is preserved.


A person’s environment predicts an individual’s upbringing and behavior. Without appropriate guidance, young individuals who are allowed to grow in a situation where the use of controlled substances is permitted will naturally veer towards the same. Youngsters must be protected from such an environment. However, if these individuals get tangled with the use of prohibited substances and chemicals, drug treatment programs should be made available.

With early detection, the young individual should be given help. Cooperation and coordination with the family, friends, and teachers should ensue. A plan should be enacted to ensure that the youngster gets the appropriate support or get enrolled in any of the treatment programs.

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