When it comes to substance abuse there are many different risk factors that play a role in whether or not an individual will become dependent or addicted to a substance. Common risk factors for substance abuse include:
- Your use of a drug that is highly addictive. Some drugs are much more addictive than others, and they can cause a dependency even after one or two times.
- Your sex. Men are two times as likely to become substance abusers as women are.
- Your family history. Individuals who come from a family and that has at least one blood relative that has struggled with substance abuse than you are much more likely to end up addicted to at least one substance, whether this is alcohol or drugs.
- You have a mental disorder. A number of mental disorders increase the risk of dependency or addiction. These include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, manic obsessive disorder, and others. You may turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self medicate and make any mental disorder symptoms go away.
- If you are a teenager or adolescent. Peer pressure can be very powerful for adolescents and young adults, and many in this age group report that they started to drink or use drugs because friends started and the user wanted to fit in with their peer group.
- If you come from a family that has little or no involvement and attachment then you have a higher risk of substance abuse. Little parental supervision also makes it easier for younger individuals to engage in substance abuse.