How to Reduce Your Addiction Risk
Some people believe they are not at risk for addiction if they never drink or use drugs. While complete abstinence is one approach to avoiding addiction, this is not an option for many people. For example, if you get into a serious accident or have a traumatic injury, you may be prescribed medication to help with pain, anxiety or depression. But, taking prescription drugs does not mean you are at risk for addiction. The way to avoid addiction is to understand the signs and symptoms of addiction and to manage those risks in a healthy and effective manner.
Research-Supported Addiction Risk Factors
The following components have been identified as risks for addiction:
- Genetics – while it is not fully understood whether this is a brain-based attribute or a learned lifestyle, children of addicts have a greater risk of developing addiction than children of non-addicts
- Age – youth have a tendency to experiment, rebel or succumb to peer-pressure more than other age groups, which increases their risk of addiction
- Stress – because stress impacts your physical, mental and emotional functioning, people with high stress have a tendency to relieve their symptoms through drugs or alcohol, which can contribute to addiction
- The drug being used – some drugs have a very low tolerance level, meaning that after a short period of time a user becomes tolerant. These types of drugs can increase your risk of addiction
- Mental health – conditions such as depression, anxiety, phobias, trauma, bipolar disorder and other mental health issues correlate highly with the use of drugs and alcohol
All these problems can lead to addiction, but people can also manage them with the correct help.
Signs of Addiction
There are several physical, behavioral and emotional signs of addiction. If you think you may have a drug problem, assess yourself honestly to see if you demonstrate any of the following signs of addiction:
- A desire to use the drug when no longer required or failure to stop using the drug
- A strong preoccupation for the drug and behaving compulsively to it
- Loss of interest in other things and lack of focus on work or school
- Mood swings
- Lacking motivation
If you exhibit any of these signs, you may be dealing with addiction. Get help now before addiction ruins your life.
Reducing Your Addiction Risk
Probably the two most important things for you to do to reduce your addiction risk are as follows:
- Be honest with yourself about your thoughts on drugs and alcohol
- Be aware of how changes in your life impact you emotional, physically and spiritually
By doing these simple tasks, you may avoid larger problems in the future. In addition, you can take the following actions to get help:
- Find activities that you feel are rewarding and entertaining
- Learn ways to manage stress effectively
- Maintain strong personal interactions
- Reach out for help at the first sign of concern
Rather than trying these on your own, you can also seek help through a rehab center that strives to teach these skills.
Help for Addiction
Addiction is a powerful force that ensnares many addicts. If you feel that you are at risk for addiction, call our toll-free helpline any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you get the information you need to avoid addiction. We can provide you with options should you be in need of addiction treatment services. We are here to help.