Addiction has a devastating impact on all areas of a person’s life, including their relationships, work life, wellness, and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Also known as substance use disorder, addiction also has a significant impact on a person’s brain and behaviour and, as time passes, it’s not uncommon for addicts to need larger doses of drugs or alcohol to get their fix.

Addiction can occur at any age and is often the result of experimental use of recreational drugs and alcohol in social situations, which quickly becomes more frequent.

While anyone can suffer from addiction, there are a number of different risk factors associated with it.

Importance of identifying risk factors of addiction

When it comes to understanding the triggers of addiction, it’s important to understand different risk factors. The likelihood of acquiring a harmful addiction can be linked to several different risk factors, some of which can be prevented or at least minimised.

What are the most common risk factors?

There are many common risk factors for addiction, including:

  • Engaging in alcohol or drug use at a young age
  • Rebellion during teenage years
  • Positive associations with alcohol and drugs
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Family conflict
  • No interest in education
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Parents’ approval of substance abuse
  • Family history of substance misuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • East access to substances
  • Normalisation of alcohol and drug use.


A significant amount of research has linked addiction to genetics, with many doctors suggesting that addiction is no different than having a family history of heart disease or diabetes. In fact, data has revealed that genetics have somewhere between a 40% and 60% influence on addiction.

The main connection between genetics and addiction is caused by the inherited levels of dopamine in the body, which is a neurotransmitter made in your brain that acts as a feel-good hormone. For example, if high levels of dopamine are present in your body, this can lead to poor impulse control and induce addictive behaviours that can lead to a life of destruction.

Family history of addiction

Family history can also influence the risk of addiction, with those with a family history of alcohol abuse thought to be 5 times more likely to form a negative relationship with alcohol and up to 8 times more likely to develop an addiction.

However, it’s also important to note that many people who have watched family members live with addiction and witnessed the devastating impact it has, actively choose not to consume alcohol or drugs as a result.

Mental health issues

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to suppress their feelings or deal with trauma and other difficulties they face in their lives. But, although some drugs may temporarily reduce symptoms of a mental illness, they can also exacerbate them when the effect wears off.

As a result, mental health issues are also often linked to addiction.


Emotional trauma and addiction are also linked, with many people using drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism and suppressant.

Trauma comes in lots of different shapes and forms and can lead to a catalogue of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Environmental factors

Several different environmental factors, such as poverty, peer pressure, trauma, relationship breakdowns, culture, and the media, as well as other life stresses, can lead to addiction.

A person’s environment can significantly influence their risk for addiction and relapse.


Peer pressure can also lead to addiction, encouraging disruptive and unhealthy behaviours associated with alcohol and drugs. For example, many people find themselves in situations where they feel more obligated to use drugs and alcohol if everyone in their circle of friends is doing the same.

This can then lead to the development of an addiction or trigger a relapse.

Overcoming addiction

The hardest part of overcoming an addiction is admitting that you have a problem in the first place. Until you admit that drugs or alcohol have become an issue, you will be unable to embark on a road to recovery.

The good news is that there are lots of ways that you can overcome an addiction including the following:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek professional support
  • Embrace a life of sobriety
  • Become aware of your personal addiction triggers
  • Avoid your triggers
  • Avoid the people and places that influence you
  • Adopt a healthy routine.

Most importantly, you should always focus on moving forward.

Why choose ANA Treatments?

At ANA, we work closely with our clients to help rebuild their lives, gain confidence and self-worth and believe that they can live a healthy, responsible, and productive life, free of addictive substances.

Contact ANA today, our friendly team is on hand and ready to help.