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Risk factors for drug abuse Essay

For starters, there are genetic factors, as we are the product of our mothers and fathers, and their parents. Children whose parents smoke are far more likely to become smokers. If they drink, you’re probably a drinker too. This isn’t all the time, but it’s a factor. Drug abuse causes seem to pass from one generation to the next. Your personality will play into the likelihood of your abusing drugs. Curious, adventuresome people will often experiment with drugs. That’s drug abuse. People who are sad or lonely might take a drug to relax or feel better. That can be abuse, but it is not necessary to include having an after work drink to relax with friends. However, once that after work drink turns into several and you are impaired, that’s a different story. Drugs can give us instant gratification. We feel good, or we feel better. Poor mental health can be risk factors for abuse.

People who have emotional problems or have a mental affliction are candidates for abusing drugs. The drug may be the only means by which they feel normal. The drug becomes a crutch. Those with low self-esteem may use a drug to feel better about themselves. There can also be peer pressure that leads to drug abuse. Young people are impressionable and can succumb easily to this peer pressure and abuse drugs to fit in with the crowd or gain acceptance. Peer pressure is most powerful during our teenaged years. Kids want to be cool. It begins as a social action, to take the drugs to be a part of the group, to be accepted. It’s not just teenagers, as peer pressure takes so many different forms. There is social etiquette, for example, to take a drink during a party. “I’m a social drinker.” How many times have you heard that? Some people actually believe that Drug Abuse causes you to be accepted and part of the ‘popular’ group. http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/drug-abuse-causes.html Genetics as a Cause of Drug Abuse

While many people use drugs, only a small percentage abuse drugs, but it has been noted drug abuse often runs in families, suggesting genetics is one of the causes of drug abuse. While having parents that abuse drugs puts a child at risk, it is possible for the child to grow up without drug abuse problems. It is also possible to abuse drugs without having any other drug abuser in the family. It is clear genetics alone is not the cause of drug abuse. Co-Occurring Conditions as Drug Abuse Causes

Drug abuse often occurs alongside other conditions like mental illness. While mental illness itself is not thought to cause drug abuse, one condition may indicate, and be complicated by, the other. One of the causes of drug abuse may be the attempt to manage the symptoms of an underlying mental illness. For example, a person with depression may repeatedly use a drug to “get high” as an escape from their depressive mood (called self-medication). The depression wasn’t the cause of drug abuse, but it was a contributing factor. It is known, however, not everyone with a mental illness abuses drugs so mental illness alone is not the cause of drug abuse. Environmental Causes of Drug Abuse

There are certain life circumstances, particularly among younger users, that are risk factors for, rather than the direct cause of, drug abuse. Parental abuse and neglect are commonly seen as part of the cause of drug abuse. An adolescent or pre-adolescent may be trying to gain attention from an inattentive parent or escape an abusive one by using drugs; prolonged attempts through drug use can be a cause of drug abuse. A drug user, or the presence of drugs in the home, can also be a major cause of drug abuse.1 Additional risk factors contributing to the causes of drug abuse include:

•Unstable home environment, often due to drug abuse or mental illness of the parent
•A poor relationship with parents
•Use of drugs by friends / peers
•Permissive attitude towards their own drug use and the drug use of the adolescent
•Behavioral problems combined with poor parenting
•Poor achievement in school
•Apparent ambivalence or approval of drug use in the school, peer group or community
•Availability of drugs from friends

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