How Your Environment Impacts Addiction

Addiction is a disease affecting families with roots diving deep into behavioral and mental issues, family history, genetics, relationships, and trauma. Researchers believe that a notable factor leading to addiction and the need for addiction treatment is a person’s environment. A person’s home, work, school atmosphere, and access to substances can affect their substance use and abuse.

Family Environments and Addiction Treatment

A person’s home strongly influences their future drug or alcohol use. The earliest interactions are contributing factors to a person’s development. For example, children living in households where factors like trauma or other significant disruptions occur are at an elevated risk for addiction.

Some of these factors include:

  • Behavioral or mental disorders, including bipolar disorder
  • Criminal behaviors
  • Divorce
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional, sexual, or verbal abuse
  • Neglect

These factors can elevate stress levels and could cause individuals to seek an escape through substance use. Children who have exposure to family members who use or are addicted to substances have a greater risk of developing substance use disorder and need addiction treatment.

School or Work Peers and Addiction Treatment

The relationship between environment and addiction doesn’t end with family circumstances. A person’s school or work peers are also contributing factors. An individual’s vulnerability for developing a substance use disorder increases if they live or work where alcohol or drugs are easily accessible. When someone has exposure to substances regularly, that normalizes behaviors.

That could lead to individuals practicing substance-seeking behavior and, as a result, need addiction treatment. Substance use and addiction are prominent in communities, cultures, environments, or societies where their use is acceptable. Examples of this type of normalcy include when individuals live in areas where others buy drugs on the street or have exposure to drug paraphernalia.

Environmental Factors Contributing to Substance Use and Addiction Treatment

Many environmental factors contribute to substance use beyond that of family and work. Here are some examples of these factors that could impact decisions to use substances:

  • Being around substances: When someone is around alcohol or drugs and see people using them frequently, they feel the temptation to do the same.
  • Feeling bullied or lonely: Some individuals turn to substances to help them escape hard times or loneliness.
  • Media influences: In addition to discussions about alcohol or drugs on the news, sitcoms joke about their use as well.
  • Peer pressure: For some, resisting peer pressure seems impossible.

When a person experiences more than one of the factors above, that doesn’t mean their doomed to substance abuse and the need for addiction treatment. It’s possible to stay away from them by participating in substance-free activities, clubs, or social gatherings.

How to Transform an Environment

When someone believes they’re spending time with individuals who need addiction treatment, that creates a need to transform their environment. This transformation doesn’t mean cutting off all communication with people who are using substances. However, it might be beneficial to initially avoid these individuals to help prevent their influence from negatively impacting your decisions.

Instead, avoid situations when substance use is heavy. For example, if there’s a party, consider leaving before people start becoming too intoxicated. If friends like to use drugs at a specific time or a particular place, then avoid those situations. That way, there’s less risk of temptations occurring. No friendships are ending, but instead, healthy steps are being taken toward creating a substance-free environment.

Reach Out to Nothern Illinois Recovery Center

Do you have questions about your environment and addiction? No one should have to experience these worries without the best help. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn if you need addiction treatment and how we can help.