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What Environmental Factors Contribute to Addiction?

Our susceptibility to addiction is a result of both biological and environment factors. Nature and nurture are both equally important in examining why we fall into patterns of substance abuse. Having a genetic predisposition for the disease of addiction does not necessarily mean we will begin using substances, nor does just having an environment filled with addiction risk factors. However, when we have both the biological predisposition for addiction and are in an environment where addiction is common, we become extremely predisposed to falling into the cycle of substance abuse and alcoholism.

Our families, communities, and peers all influence our behavior. If addiction is common in these areas, we are much more likely to engage in the same behaviors surrounding us. The National Institutes of Health breaks down environmental patterns leading to addiction into three key risk factors: the effect of families on a young person’s behavior, easy access to drugs or alcohol, and the influence of peers. According to a 2005 Military Medicine article, in a study of 559 subjects, it was determined that “drug addicts came mostly from incomplete and pathological families. The main family factors of drug addiction, according to the results obtained, are family atmosphere, strength of family ties, sense of family happiness, structure of authority in the family, and alcoholism. In families where there is warmth and love, children do not or rarely take drugs.” Conversely, in families with hostility, weak family bonds, and one or more family members addicted to drugs or alcohol, the possibility of a child falling victim to drug abuse or alcoholism is greatly increased.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that lack of parental supervision, community poverty, availability of drugs in school, and early drug experimentation are all major risk factors in the development of addiction. Furthermore, “Friends and acquaintances can have an increasingly strong influence during adolescence. Drug-using peers can sway even those without risk factors to try drugs for the first time. Academic failure or poor social skills can put a child at further risk for using or becoming addicted to drugs.” These factors, however, do not doom someone to a lifetime of addiction. Through the development of healthy coping skills and recovery programs, it is entirely possible for a person to break the cycle of addiction, no matter how far their disease has progressed.

Life in active addiction is no way to live. If you are struggling or care for someone who is struggling with addiction, you know that life can be better. It’s time to live. Ready? Set- GO. Resilient House cultivates the resilience necessary to those in recovery for lasting wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Bringing together the best in clinical and holistic expertise, our full continuum of care is designed to help you change your life for good. Call us today for information: 833-CHANGE1