Why Am I Addicted?

There are almost as many reasons for addiction as there are people who have become addicted. Nearly everyone has a family member or knows someone who is suffering an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Addiction does not discriminate between gender, age group, race, skin color, or economic status. Some individuals however, are more prone to addiction than others. How so you ask? The greater the number of risk factors a person has, the greater the chances are they will abuse drugs or alcohol or become addicted.

Common Risk Factors

We inherit many traits, both good and bad, from our parents and ancestry. Some researchers claim that heredity is the single biggest contributing factor to the likelihood of becoming addicted. If neither of your parents were drinkers, there is a good change that even if you are a social drinker you probably won’t become an alcoholic. If both your parents were alcoholics, you are predisposed to becoming one also, so take precautions. Studies also show that children of alcoholic parents who have been adopted and raised by tee-totalers (non-alcoholic parents) still have a 3 to 4 times higher risk than the average population, which is roughly one in twelve.

Rule of Thumb

While the answer to the question of addiction lies in our dna, the study of genetics involves identifying not only the twenty thousand plus genes in our dna, but the complex sequence of three billion chemical base pairs. Eventually science will solve and correct what particular genes cause what particular addiction. But for now, unfortunately, our genetic predisposition is one of our best rule of thumb guesses.

Identical Twins Not Always the Same

For example, an alcoholic husband and wife may produce some children that become addicted and some children who don’t. Studies of identical twins have shown that in some cases one of the twins has an addiction while the other does not, despite having the same parents and genetics.

Risk Examples

Many of the following factors may increase your risk to becoming addicted to a harmful substance:

  • Having parents or ancestry who have been or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • Having an indication or history of aggressive behavior or conduct disorder.
  • Having an untreated attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Being depressed or anxious.
  • Having been exposed to serious traumatic events.
  • Having suffered a physical assault, abuse or rape.
  • Having serious stressful situations in your life such as the death of a loved-one, divorce, job loss or relocation.
  • Having a serious conflict with a spouse or parents,
  • Being exposed to peers that pressure you into taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
  • Having begun using drugs or alcohol at a very young age.
  • Having grown up in an environment where drugs and alcohol were always present.
  • Having little or no parental supervision when growing up.
  • Having been rejected or unloved by your parents when young.

Most people have little control of their lives while growing up and with many, the results can be tragic. For others, the responsible route was taken.

Get Help

It’s not too late to make drastic lifestyle changes. If you are a heavy drug or alcohol user, start winding down to lessen your intake. If you simply can’t, then take advantage of the programs offered in your community and get some help. Today!

It is important to know that there is no cure for addiction, but it can be effectively managed.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

Review our Knowledge Base or the links displayed on this page for similar and related topics.

See Also:

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)

National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)