Substance use disorder affects an individual’s behavior and their ability to control the use of alcohol and other drugs. This means that they continue using different substances despite the harm they cause. Any person can become an addict, regardless of gender, age, and economic status.

Here are the major factors that increase the risk of falling into substance abuse.


Mental Health Disorder

You are at risk of becoming a drug addict if you suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. Most people use drugs to cope with the pain and emotions that these conditions cause. Others assume that being under the influence of these drugs gives them a sense of well-being.


Peer Pressure

Most people, especially youths and adolescents, become addicts due to pressure from their friends. This is because at this age, they experience the social pressure to “fit in.” Additionally, the part of the brain that influences judgment and self-control has not fully matured.

Consequently, most young adults are not afraid of taking risks, experimenting, and engaging in harmful behaviors like binge drinking. Therefore, having a friend who uses drugs can make a young person more vulnerable to drug abuse.


Unstable Home Environment

An unstable home environment magnifies the risk of children becoming drug addicts. Research indicates that various factors, such as domestic violence and lack of structure within the family setting, can cause people to use drugs to deal with their emotions.

Other difficult family situations, such as alcoholic and irresponsible parents, child maltreatment, poor child-parent relationship, and inadequate parental supervision, also increase the risk of drug abuse among children.


Easy Access to Drugs

You will easily become a victim of substance use disorder if you can easily obtain drugs at school, at home, or community. In the recent past, a rise in medical prescriptions has significantly contributed to the increased abuse of prescription drugs in America. The availability, combined with lack of knowledge on the dangers of misusing the medication, increases the risk of drug dependence.



Biologically, you are at a high risk of developing a drug problem if your parent, sibling, or relative was an addict. The risk is even higher when the genes combine with other factors like peer pressure. However, it is important to remember that just because a family member struggled with substance abuse does not mean that you will suffer from the same fate. The dependence will only happen if you decide to start using drugs.


Sexual and Physical Abuse

People who have experienced any form of physical or sexual abuse are likely to develop a drug problem. This experience has long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological effects. The victims drink, smoke, and use hard drugs to numb their feelings and cope with the stress that the traumatic incident causes.

Depending on drugs also helps them deal with low self-esteem, low self-worth, and low self-confidence. Addiction counseling can help sexual and physical abuse survivors address these emotions and overcome unhealthy coping mechanisms.

In summary, several risk factors play a significant role in the development of substance use disorder. Luckily, this problem is treatable. If you need addiction counseling training, do not hesitate to contact Colorado Counselor Training today to know more about our affordable courses.