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4 Risk Factors for Drug Abuse

a woman sits on a chair looking in the distance wondering the risk factors for drug abuse

Contrary to popular belief, many people with addiction maintain relatively normal work, school, and home lives despite substance use. While some may show signs of drug or alcohol use, others may hide substance use successfully from those they love. While addiction is common across the United States, it’s important to remember that addiction is a treatable disease influenced by many risk factors. It’s essential to know the risk factors for drug abuse to know when it’s time to get help for a loved one or yourself.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse in the New Hampshire area, our team can help. A Better State provides comprehensive drug addiction treatment that fits your schedule. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our outpatient programs and Hudson, NH clinic.

What Are the Causes of Drug Abuse and Addiction?

Substance abuse is the misuse of a legal or illegal substance. Misuse can include taking illicit or prescription drugs other than prescribed. Stress, trauma, undiagnosed mood disorders, and significant life changes can provoke substance abuse. Abusing a substance often leads to addiction. Addiction occurs when the brain and body depend on a substance or behavior for specific chemical processes.

The most addictive substances release dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical responsible for the experience of joy, motivation, and euphoria. When taken in high doses through drugs, the brain will stop making dopamine and rely on drugs or alcohol for dopamine. This natural response is called the “dopamine reward” effect, a common cause of addiction.

Someone’s risk of addiction from substance abuse or addictive behaviors can vary depending on life history, mental health, stress levels, and other factors. The first sign of addiction is withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when a substance leaves the body, and the body and brain crave more of the substance to carry out chemical functions in the brain.

Understanding Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

There isn’t just one risk factor for addiction. Many aspects of someone’s life can contribute to substance abuse and the risk of addiction. Some causes of drug abuse and addiction include:

1. Prolonged Stress

Today’s busy world can make it difficult for people to rest, reset, and lower stress levels. Unfortunately, many cope with drugs, alcohol, or addictive behaviors. This is especially common among frontline workers and other high-stress jobs.

2. Family History

Someone may be predisposed to addictive behaviors if members of their family struggle with addiction.

3. Unresolved Trauma

Studies show that traumatic events can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and unprocessed trauma triggers that result in self-medicating or self-soothing to reduce symptoms. Traumas can range from accidents and abuse to witnessing natural disasters or terrorism. Because everyone’s experience of trauma is different, it can be tough to treat.

4. Co-Occurring Disorders

Mood disorders like OCD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder affect at least half of people living with addiction. Untreated co-occurring disorders can make it difficult to stop using drugs or alcohol without professional support.

These are only a few factors that impact the risk of addiction. Everyone’s addiction is unique, which means there is no single checklist of factors leading to addiction. It also means there isn’t just one approach to treatment. Drug addiction treatment is the safest, most effective way to stop substance abuse, balance mental health, and reduce the risk of reuse.

Find a Drug Addiction Treatment Program in New Hampshire Today

Beginning an addiction treatment program can be overwhelming and deeply rewarding. Treatment is always the best way to reduce the risk of overdose and drug-related death. If you’re struggling, our team can help. With a range of holistic treatment options, A Better State provides:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy

Whether you want daytime or evening outpatient treatment, we have the program for you. Reach out to our team today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs and which program could be suitable for you.

Understand the Risk Factors for Drug Abuse with Help from A Better State

Knowing the risk factors for drug abuse can help you, and your loved ones stay informed and make better choices. Once you understand the risk factors of drug abuse, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of drug abuse. And if you or a family member need help and support with drug addiction, A Better State can assist you in getting the help and treatment you need. There’s no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about drug addiction—it’s a severe medical condition that requires treatment.

The first step in getting help is admitting that you have a problem and need help. A Better State can provide the resources you need to get started on the road to recovery. We understand how difficult it can be to ask for help, but we also know how important it is to get the help you need. Call A Better State today at 781.412.1488 and let us help you get on the road to recovery.