Anybody can develop an addiction regardless of who they are, their race, social status, beliefs, or gender. However, it can be difficult to digest as to why some demographics are more prone to it than others and despite having morals or being raised in a good family, there are plenty of factors that could increase their chances of becoming an addict. Factors like medical history, genetics, environment, and others are among those that contribute to developing an addiction. These can all influence the abuse in many ways and the more an individual is exposed to it, the more likely they will become dependent on drugs and alcohol.
The Most Affected Individuals
Although addiction is a disease that affects all demographics, there are specific groups of people who are more vulnerable to addiction than others. Knowing which demographic is more at risk can help you become proactive in avoiding triggers or situations that could lead to more drug use.
The male gender
It has been suggested that men can develop addictions more quickly than women do. According to research, young men ages 18 to 24 years old are most likely to abuse drugs. Caucasian men are also most vulnerable to abuse drugs compared to African Americans. It has also been discovered that men have higher chances of becoming addicts than women as there are far more men in rehabilitation centers and programs compared to their female counterparts. Insecurities are also among the main reasons why men turn to drugs or alcohol. Doubting their own masculinity could lead them to cope by taking drugs and other substances which unfortunately can result in abuse and addiction.
People with mental health issues
Individuals with mental health issues like bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD have been found out to be more at risk of abusing drugs and alcohol. According to studies, one reason for this is that there are a large number of people that self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. This is in an effort to numb the symptoms of their underlying mental health problems. People who suffer from anxiety, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders also use drugs or alcohol as a means to cope with their condition especially if the illness is left untreated or undiagnosed. Those who do not seek medical treatment for their condition may also turn to drug abuse as a means of an easy and quick fix. In some cases, those who do receive treatment still turn to substance abuse in order to satisfy their own cravings. As a result, they develop an addiction that is hard to overcome and at the same time struggle with their own mental health issues even more.
Teenagers and young adults
Teenagers are still at an age where they are highly impressionable so anything that their peers do, they will do as well. High school and college students are also at a stage where their brain is still forming. Unfortunately, this is also the time when they begin to express themselves and do whatever they want in order to fit in. This usually means partying to try out drinking and do drugs. However, this is not always the case but since they are at an impressionable age, teens and young adults are considered to be at risk for forming an addiction at a young age. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, individuals ages 12 to 24 years old are more likely to have addictions and substance use disorders at an early age because they are prone to experimenting and trying out new things. This also makes them susceptible to mental health disorders when they get older.
People who suffered trauma
Trauma and stress are among the most common reasons why a person turn to drug and alcohol abuse. Individuals who experience extreme violence, stress, trauma, or abuse often turn substances in order to cope with or numb the pain they are feeling. However, this is not always the case as there are plenty of people who had overcome their PTSD without the need for using illicit substances.
Another factor in regard to demographics that affects your vulnerability to addiction is your biological and environmental components. There are certain ethnic groups that show different reactions as well as metabolism to drugs which can affect their sensitivity. Cultural factors like the influence of drug use and societal factors also play a role in the consequences of drug use. Take African Americans and Hispanics for example, their overall drug use is relatively low compared to white Americans. This is also the reason why the consequences of drug addiction within these ethnic groups are also lower compared to others.
People with a family history of drug abuse
Individuals who grew up in a family where their relatives struggle with addiction are also most likely to become drug dependent themselves. Although a person’s genes play a role in the development of an addiction, a person does not develop an addiction right away after birth. However, they are more prone to develop this in their later life since they already have a genetic predisposition. If this individual has poor coping skills then they also have 50% chances of developing an addiction. It is also believed that an individual whose parents are both drug addicts are more likely to develop drug dependency eight times more compared to those who don’t. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 45 to 79% of children belonging to addicted parents are most likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as well – this is in comparison to the general population. They also believe that the way children are raised and the environment they are living in also contributes to their drug and alcohol addiction as an individual.
These demographic shows how people can be vulnerable to drug and alcohol addictions. Hopefully, this information can be used to help educate people about substance abuse so it cannot be passed down to the next generations. This growing addiction problem can be beaten if we all help each other, let us start today.
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