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Are Certain Populations More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Are Certain Populations More Vulnerable to Addiction?

February 28, 2018
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If you have any experience with addicts, you’ll know that they vary greatly in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, background, socioeconomic status and more. But did you know that certain populations are prone to addiction more than others? This has nothing to do with stereotypes (trust us, plenty exist about addiction). There are certain groups of people that are proven to have higher predispositions to alcohol or substance abuse. So what people do these groups include and what characteristics make them more susceptible to addiction?

One group of people that are more likely to abuse drugs is young, white men. Young people in general (18-34) are more likely to fall vulnerable to addiction. If you think about it, this makes sense, due to the environmental factors germane to that age range and period. However, young men are particularly prone, also arguably due to social pressures and factors. Furthermore, race plays a part in addiction. Research has shown that white people are more likely to be addicts than those of an african-american nature. Also, studies have shown that native american youths have the highest likelihood to abuse drugs, followed by whites, african-americans and then asian-americans. The likeliest explanation for this disparity regarding who addiction affects is that race, especially in this country, is not only a demographic but also an experience. It dictates, to some extent, factors and possibilities that could influence personality characteristics and also drug habits.

Another group of people that are disproportionately prone to be addicts are children of addicts. This is probably a fairly unsurprising demographic, as most people are aware of the genetic component behind addiction. But the statistics on predispositions for children of drug abusers truly are staggering. According to the National Institute of Health, children of those who abused drugs are 45 to 79 percent more likely to have a problem with drugs or alcohol themselves than in comparison to the rest of the general population. Not only are children of drug addicts impacted by the genetics they receive, they are also often influenced by the accompanying home and family background.

Another population adversely exposed to drug and alcohol addiction are those that suffer from mental illnesses. This is why the phenomenon of dual diagnosis (when addicts are treated for outside issues, not just their substance abuse problems) has risen in past years. Studies have shown that individuals with mental illness issues attempt to medicate with drugs and alcohol attempt to medicate the symptoms of their mental illness. This is especially prevalent in those with bipolar disorder, a mental disorder characterized by dramatic mood swings and borderline personality disorder, a personality disorder characterized by loss of self, feelings of emptiness, compulsive behavior, mood swings and more. Furthermore, those with the widely common mental illnesses of anxiety and depression are also more at risk for addiction.

There are other groups that are prone to substance abuse, including those with higher IQ’s, members of the LGBT community and those described as sensitive, but we hope our blog gave you an inside look on those left more vulnerable to addiction. Here at Recovery Care Partner, we care especially about those predisposed to addiction, and care deeply about all those who addiction affects. If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction, contact Recovery Care Partner today.