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.Learn More
When one part of the population experiences such a different reaction to drugs and alcohol than the everyone else, it’s natural to wonder what is behind it. In this blog post,we’ll attempt to explain variations in addicts from neurological, biological, environmental and genetic levels. Regarding the genetic explanation for what creates an addict, the answer is pretty straightforward and generally understood. Genetics play a big role in if one is predisposed to addiction. Those with addicts or alcoholics in their family are more likely to become them themselves. However, a little bit harder to explain are the biological, neurological and environmental factors to addiction.
The neurological factors to addiction entail the brain’s experience while addiction is happening. There are three primary stages to addiction- first is preoccupation, second is binge and third is withdrawal. The stages have complex, intertwining relationships with one another and grow worse and worse with the use. However, what is profound about these stages is that the way one’s brain chemically responds to the stages is a major factor in addiction. The chemical response put out by one’s brain during the three stages changes very quickly and this alters brain chemistry; the functioning of a brain’s circuitry decreases a lot in users, giving them sensations of desperation and more. The change in brain chemistry can transform a normal brain into that of an addict, depending on how one reacts to the drugs/alcohol they are ingesting.
There are also a lot of biological factors behind addiction. These factors draw from both neurological and genetic counterparts. A user’s response to a drug or other stimuli is based primarily on their brain makeup. Brain makeup is what comprises the biological factor. Brain makeup is based on inherited genes as well as brain circuitry functions and chemical patterns that comprise neurological factors. Brain makeup may sound complex, but just understand it entails one’s thought process. Anyone that has any experience with an addict knows that their thought processes vary greatly from those without the disease. A big trademark of addicts is lack of ability to resist impulse. This thought process, or lack thereof, helps to exemplify the biological reasons for addiction.
Lastly, and probably the most complex, environmental factors have a lot to do with determining addiction. In a nutshell, the environmental factors for addiction entail the fact that substance abuse can pop up as a poor coping mechanism or response to some kind of tragedy or trauma. How you interpret things growing up and what specific things happened to you while growing up combine to the environmental factors behind addiction. Those that are easily distraught, easily swayed or upset, those that have a hard time working or making friendships, or those that are persecuted have a higher likelihood of substance abuse. The concept of persecution or isolation is especially relevant. In those that have experienced derision, rates of substance abuse are higher. For example,it has been stated that 20 to 30 percent of LGBTQ people battle addiction, whereas the rate is only 9 percent for the rest of the population.
Whatever factors are behind the substance abuse of you our a loved one, you are going to need help. Rely on the help and support of Recovery Care Partner to change lives this new year.Learn More