What makes some people more likely to become addicted?
Certain conditions and circumstances make some people more likely to have substance use lead to a substance use disorder (in its severe form referred to as addiction) than others. These risk factors do not determine one’s destiny — rather, they are useful in assessing the potential for a problem to develop.
Risk factors for substance use
The Risk Assessment Tool
All these risk factors were brought together to create a risk assessment tool that you can use for free and in confidence. It’s available here. Simply answer a series of questions to the best of your ability to find out what risk factors, if any, your child may face. It usually takes people about 5 to 6 minutes to answer all of the questions. After you submit your answers, you’ll receive a report that shows the factors you’ve identified, along with suggestions on how to lower these risks.
Remember, the tool won’t provide a diagnosis or a score. Generally speaking, if more risk factors show up, the situation is more concerning. Should you need more help understanding the report or creating a plan to help your child, don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Changes to risk over time
Preventing and delaying substance use for as long as possible, along with addressing any underlying risk factors, are important to reducing the chances of problems developing. Helping your child strengthen coping skills, maintain their mental and physical well-being, and grow healthy relationships, along with keeping them safe, can serve as protective factors.
As people become adults, risk factors for substance use and addiction may change. At each stage of life, new and different circumstances can create stress and added pressure, that may lead to substance use disorders. Your support in building a healthy foundation as they grow can help them successfully weather life’s curveballs and avoid substance use disorders.