Environmental Risk Factors
What is a Risk Factor?
Roughly 10% of all people who experiment with drugs become addicted. A combination of environmental and genetic factors influence the likelihood of addiction.
Environmental risk factors are characteristics in a person's surroundings that increase their likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs. A person may have many environments, or domains, of influence such as the community, family, school, and friends. Their risk of addiction can develop in any of these domains.
The Community Domain
An individual's connection with the community in which they live plays a big part in their liklihood of abusing drugs. Statistics show that if a person's community has favorable attitudes toward drug use, firearms and crime, their risk is increased.
The Peer Domain
The single biggest contributing factor to drug abuse risk is having friends who engage in the problem behavior. If an individual's friends have favorable attitudes towards drug use, this can also increase risk.
The Family Domain
Family conflict and home management problems are contributing factors in drug abuse risk. Also, if parents have favorable attitudes towards drug use or use drugs themselves, often their children will be more likely to abuse drugs.
The School Domain
A student's performance, participation, and commitment to school can be a major risk factor in addiction.