Hard drugs and alcohol on an old wooden table

When it comes to developing an addiction, everyone’s story is different. There are certain factors at play that can make someone more or less likely to become addicted to drugs. It’s true that the first time you use a drug, illicit or prescription, is when you learn of its effects and that it’s an option to use that drug in the future. That being said, not everyone will instantly start turning to drug use after a single occurrence.

How Many People Do Get Addicted to Drugs?

The numbers are concerning when it comes to potential drug addiction, with 19.4% of the American population having used illicit drugs within the last year. That’s 53 million people 12 and over who have created a link between a specific drug and the side effects that come with it, primarily ones that create positive emotions or depress the brain to slow down.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health also found that over half of U.S. adults, 26 or older, have consumed drugs at least once in their life. Together these surveys show that around every one in five adults you see struggles with drug abuse or addiction. With how much society associates substance abuse with wealth or success, it’s no surprise that there’s a public acceptance of addiction’s existence without the obligation to help.

Early intervention is one of the best ways to help stop a developing addiction. In order to do so, we need to first understand what causes addiction in someone. Factors that play a role in addictive tendencies include:

  • Genetics
  • Physical health
  • Any mental health conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and depression
  • The environment one grew up and lives in
  • A constant presence of drugs
  • Peers who abuse drugs

When each of these pieces of information is known, parents and teachers can help look for signs of addictive personalities in order to better prepare to support at-risk children and young adults.

Some Drugs Are Simply More Addictive

Even with genetic screening and early intervention, certain drugs have a higher chance of their user developing an addiction. The differences between these drugs tends to come down to potency and the effects.

One comparison is how the effects of amphetamines often make users overly anxious and uncomfortable, leading to them never using it again. On the other hand, drugs such as fentanyl and heroin create euphoric sensations that are unachievable naturally which makes users crave the drug again regardless of the negative health effects.

Spotting Signs of Drug Addiction

Even if an addiction starts from the first use for an individual, its development takes time. One of the first signs someone sees in themselves is that they start to believe that they need drugs in order to feel “normal”.

This does have some truth in it as certain illicit drugs have similar effects to prescription drugs, leading those with certain conditions such as ADHD to pursue drug abuse as a form of self-medication rather than seeking professional assistance. Unfortunately, this practice leads to the forming of a tolerance over time.

Tolerance is the body’s reaction to consistent drug use meaning it changes how it completes certain functions to accommodate the presence of chemicals created by drugs. The more it does this, the more of that specific drug will be needed in order to achieve the same level of effects as before.

Because the brain, specifically the central nervous system, has adapted to drug use, it doesn’t know how to function without. This is known as chemical dependence and can lead to withdrawal symptoms if it goes without the drug for too long. Thankfully, addiction treatment centers like ours at America’s Rehab Campus have medically-assisted detox to make the withdrawal process safe and comfortable.

If Drug Addiction Has Crept Into Your Life, We Can Help

It’s never too late or too early to get help overcoming addiction and finding the path to recovery that works for you. At America’s Rehab Campus, our compassionate staff is ready to help you or your loved ones lead a sober life.

Reach out to our team today for a free consultation where you can ask any questions you have about our programs or accepted insurance plans.