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Risk factors for drug addiction in young adults

When you think of a typical drug addict, does a stereotypical image of a homeless, jobless person come to mind? While there are certainly drug users who fit that description, addiction actually affects a wide range of people.

You may think your teen is safe because of your financially stable lifestyle, but there are more risk factors than just income level and education. In fact, according to one study, high socioeconomic status correlated with higher use of alcohol and marijuana in young adults. Become familiar with these relevant factors from to help you evaluate the risk of your teen or college-aged child becoming involved with drugs.

Mental health

Those with mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or depression, are likelier to abuse drugs. It may serve as self-medication to escape the symptoms of mental illness. Drugs may also have a more rewarding and addictive impact on unhealthy brains. Combined with the normal cognitive development of youth, susceptibility becomes high.


Young adults may still not know how to handle all types of stressful and traumatic events. Children who have experienced abuse of any kind from anyone may turn to drugs to handle the intense emotions. If your child has suffered abuse, seek professional counseling for him or her to prevent drug use.


Genes may be up to 60 percent responsible for people becoming drug addicts. After all, not everyone who tries drugs becomes hooked. Examine your genealogy to see if addiction (of all kinds) runs in your family.


Think that drug abuse is prominent among minorities? Think again. reports that data points to Caucasians actually having higher rates of use and addiction than do African Americans and other minorities except Native Americans. An explanation is currently unavailable, but the numbers are still revealing.

What to do if your young adult child uses drugs

Your child may not know or appreciate the lifelong consequences of drug abuse. Try to get your son or daughter professional help before things get worse. If your child gets involved with the law, speak to a qualified, compassionate attorney so your child receives proper treatment instead of prison time.

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