Are Some Individuals More Prone To Getting Addicted: Expert Answers

A question that is asked is whether or not some individuals are more prone to addiction. This write-up will answer it in detail. It’s always a good idea to catch any risks early before they get worse.

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It is possible. Here are some pieces of evidence that will support this argument according to experts.

Genetic predisposition

One of the instances where some people are prone to addiction is due to genetics. Researchers have shown that it can play a significant role. A person may inherit a variation of the gene that can affect how a person responds to dopamine.

Those who have this variation might have difficulty enjoying the pleasure of normal activities compared to other people. Thus, they may be looking for other activities to help them find that pleasure.

This may also include abusing substances. Those with a family history for addiction may develop one themselves. If this is you, it’s important to get the help you need to either prevent an addiction from occurring.

If an addiction is already happening, you still need to get the treatment you need to overcome it.

Environmental influences

Environmental factors can also play a role in addiction. Children who grew up in households where substance abuse was a normal presence will likely develop an addiction. That’s because they have been exposed to these substances as young children.

They may have witnessed their parents and other individuals abuse drugs or alcohol. They may see this as normal behavior and thus develop an addiction themselves.

The household may not be the only environmental influence. An entire neighborhood may also have an environmental influence on young children. Meaning many people may use substances, setting an example (albeit a bad one) that drug and alcohol use may be normal.

Other environments include college campuses, workplaces where drinking is allowed, and other environments where drug and alcohol use is prevalent.

Mental health conditions

Persons with mental health conditions are one of the most prone to addiction. The reason for this is that people are dealing with symptoms of depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety, and/or PTSD. To help quell them, they tend to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol instead of appropriate medication.

People dealing with mental health disorders may have a hard time coping with it. Those who develop an addiction may not have had a prior diagnosis of their mental disorder. For that reason, they may be diagnosed with one along with an addiction.

This is known as a dual diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder and addiction, they both need to be treated accordingly. One must never have one condition go ignored.

During your treatment, you will need to visit two separate counselors. One will focus on your addiction and how to implement strategies to help you avoid using substances. The other will focus on your mental health disorder.

You must never meet with a counselor that says they can handle both of your issues. This can lead to confusion and disorganization. Keeping it to two separate counselors will make it more organized and structured for your treatment plan.

The goal here is to not only beat your addiction, but keep your mental health disorder under control.

Personal experiences

If you have experienced traumatic events such as emotional or physical abuse, neglect, or other related experiences, addiction may be possible. A person may experience chronic pain or medical conditions. Thus, they may need medication to help manage the pain.

A person may up the dose of their medication without the consent of their doctor. This is a common theme for those who may be prescribed prescription opioids. People who have been prescribed prescription opioids must use them as directed.

However, a quarter of people who are provided these opioids for therapeutic purposes will likely abuse them.

What prevention and treatment measures should be taken

If you are in a situation where you may develop an addiction, it’s important to take preventative measures. This includes but not limited to the following:

Get a mental health diagnosis

If you believe you are displaying symptoms of a mental health disorder, you will need to make an appointment for an assessment. This will need to be done by a medical doctor. Once confirmed, you will then be placed on a treatment plan.

This includes medication (if needed) and regular therapy. Following this treatment plan will lessen your chances of developing an addiction. It will lessen the risk of a person being able to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol.

Education and awareness

It’s important to be aware of the dangers of addiction. Learn about what it can do to your body, your personal and professional life, and more. This will help you get a good idea of what you can avoid.

You can make a plan to avoid drugs or alcohol. For example, you’ll learn when to leave an environment where such substances are present. You will learn that self-medication is never the answer to negative feelings.

Be sure to implement your action plan to ensure that you prevent an addiction from happening. The longer you stick with the plan, the better.

Final Thoughts

If you believe you are prone to addiction, it’s important to take the necessary actions. This includes getting diagnosed with a mental illness. Educating yourself on addiction is also needed as well.

If you have already developed an addiction to substances, get the help you need as soon as possible. Avoiding addiction or overcoming it should be your goal. There are individuals that are prone to getting addicted.

However, it is important for them to take preventative measures to avoid addiction. They can live a fulfilling life by taking alternative actions in handling stress, trauma, and other issues. 

Huynh Nguyen

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