Addiction knows no one ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality or socio-economic background. Addiction can strike anywhere and affect anyone, we see people from all walks of life who struggle with substance abuse issues. That said there are a number of risk factors that will increase your chances of developing substance abuse problems. This is called “addiction vulnerability” and it encompasses genetic, physiological, and psychological components that can contribute to substance abuse.
Science has uncovered that there is a strong genetic component to addiction, and that it can be inherited. That is to say predisposition to addiction runs in families. It is estimated that up to 50% of one’s risk for developing an addiction stems from one’s genetic background and family history. Environmental factors can also contribute to addiction such as being influenced by peer groups and having substance abuse normalized and introduced at pivotal points in one’s life. Having parents who engage in substance abuse greatly increases your own risk for engaging in substance abuse later on, and this arrives at the intersection of the genetic and environmental components mentioned.
Mental illness has been thought to increase the likelihood that one will resort to drugs and alcohol to cope with symptoms that emerge.
The future is not set in stone. A disposition to a certain sort of behavior does not mean that it will emerge or take over your life. You still have agency and the ability to alter the course of your life whatever your genetic disposition or early influences in life. It is never too late or too soon to tackle and/or prevent addiction.