Risk Factors for Addiction

People from all backgrounds can experience addiction. Although the risk factors for addiction can vary from person to person, they can have an impact regardless of a person’s gender, color, culture, economic status, place of birth, or religion. Risk factors may include childhood environment, medical history, or genetics.

An individual suffering from addiction should consider getting help at an addiction treatment center in Illinois. By working with a therapist from Northern Illinois Recovery Center, a person struggling with substance abuse can identify the risk factors that led to their addiction. They can also learn how to manage the underlying symptoms of addiction to avoid a relapse.


A false perception of addiction is that it is a result of a lack of morals or willpower. A person should just be able to quit an addiction at any time. However, there are too many factors that make these statements untrue. One of them is genetics. The chemical reaction that occurs in the brain when exposed to alcohol or drugs does so due to the genetic makeup of the individual.

Part of the genetic code is heredity, which also plays a role in how a person responds to certain substances. The risk of addiction is much higher in individuals whose parents or other relatives had a problem with substance abuse.


The environment is another contributing factor to addiction. One of the things that clients learn in substance abuse treatment programs is how their home, school, or work environment promotes substance abuse. Constant exposure to this type of environment can make using and abusing drugs or alcohol appear normal.

A person who grows up in an environment where drugs or alcohol were abused might end up with addiction even if they swore they’d never have a problem with substance abuse. Recovery from addiction may require that the individual remove themselves from a toxic environment to avoid relapse.

Mental Health Issues

It is not uncommon for a person with a mental health disorder to also have an addiction. A user may turn to alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medication as a way of coping with the symptoms of the disorder. Mental health disorders associated with addiction may include:

The disorder can trigger and fuel the addiction. Likewise, the addiction put such a stress on the brain that it leads to a disorder. The relationship between addiction and a mental disorder is known as dual diagnosis.

Teenage Use

One of the leading risk factors for addiction is drinking or using drugs at an early age. Addictive behavior during adolescence harms brain development. Teenagers may be more likely to suffer from mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression.

Teens often use drugs or alcohol as a result of a poor home environment, peer pressure, or natural curiosity. However, they cannot handle these types of substances. As a result, they can develop an addiction early on that can follow them into adulthood. Recovering from addiction started at a young age often requires the help of addiction therapy services to undo the years of substance abuse.

Learn More About Risk Factors for Addiction at Northern Illinois Recovery Center

Understanding the risk factors for addiction can equip you to overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you are ready to get help today, contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center. Our treatment professionals offer comprehensive services at our drug addiction rehab center in Illinois. To find out more, call Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978. We are here to help you get on the road to recovery.