Addiction, like most other chronic diseases, simply does not seem fair. Why must some individuals undergo years of pain and agony at the hands of alcoholism while others can successfully drink a glass of wine with dinner? Why do some individuals develop life-threatening addictions to cocaine while others seem to experiment safely with the drug in college, ultimately leaving partying behind in exchange for a family and a career? There are several factors that affect which men and women are afflicted with the disease of addiction, some unavoidable and some based on influences that might have been circumvented. Of course, regardless of how you have ended up addicted, what is more important than uncovering reason is getting immediate professional help.
Why Do Some People Wind Up Addicted? Unavoidable Factors
The most prevalent unavoidable contributing factor of addiction is genetic predisposition. It has been proven in numerous studies that there is a direct genetic link between addicted parents and addicted children, thus those that come from families in which addiction and alcoholism are extremely prevalent are far more likely to develop substance dependencies themselves. In fact, scientists estimate that between 40% and 60% of an individuals risk of developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol is based solely on genetics. Interestingly enough, genetic predisposition may not manifest itself in the same addictive behaviors as experienced by parents. While a parental figure may be alcoholic or drug addicted, their offspring may experience sex addiction or an addiction to gambling or spending. All addictive behaviors stem from the same general neurological inconsistency, thus addictive genetics may establish themselves in a variety of ways.
Additionally, dual diagnosis disorders are often an unavoidable factor of addiction. Those that suffer from co-occurring psychological disorders tend to begin using chemical substances in order to ‘self-medicate’ – alleviate symptoms of their undiagnosed or untreated disorders through any means necessary. Most individuals who attend addiction treatment for any extended period of time will be diagnosed with some variation of dual diagnosis disorder, ranging from anxiety and depression to bipolar and schizophrenia.
Avoidable Factors of Eventual Substance Dependency
Many contributing factors of addiction have to do with influences that could have been avoided, such as environment and upbringing. If an individual grows up in a somewhat impoverished area that is densely populated with men and women who commit crime and engage in adolescent drug abuse, the likelihood of experimentation at a young age inevitably increases. If a child is brought up in a house in which drinking is normalized and even encouraged, he or she is more likely to begin drinking at a young age. While many of these factors are arguably unavoidable, if an at-risk child is removed from a precarious household or community he or she is more liable to grow up without formulating a dependence on chemical substance.
Again, while addiction may seem unfair and it may who is afflicted and who is not may seem somewhat random, the important thing is to get help when a serious addiction is identified. If you cannot control your drinking or drug use and believe professional treatment may be a necessity, please feel free to give our trained representatives a call at your early convenience.