How Your Environment Influences Your Addiction

environment influences addiction

How Your Environment Influences Your Addiction

For many years, scientists have been working to determine the underlying causes of addiction, and what makes people more susceptible to addictive behaviors than others. Is it genetic, social, biological – or is it the result of external factors like upbringing?

With the national conversation around the drug epidemic, determining the answer to this question has become more important than ever. Though there currently is no cure for addiction, if we knew the root cause, it stands to reason we could work toward an effective solution for helping people who have become chemically dependent on various substances.

Environmental Factors That Contribute to Addiction

Many people who study addiction point to external factors such as stress as significant contributors that influence someone’s vulnerability to developing a substance dependency. However, the behavior of your family and friends and your exposure to media representation can also lead to addictive behaviors.

1. Family Dynamic

Your upbringing is one of the most significant factors playing a role in your ability to develop healthy coping mechanisms. From an early age, how your family members behaved toward each other and how they treated you created a model you learned to follow in life. Overbearing or absentee parenting, exposure to childhood trauma or abuse and witnessing dysfunctional behavior are all factors that can contribute to an increased likelihood of substance misuse later in life.

2. Peer Group

If all your friends regularly use drugs or alcohol, they are setting a pattern of self-destructive behavior that has a strong likelihood of rubbing off on you. The desire to fit in and feel a sense of belonging is one of the most common human tendencies and can quickly lead to problems with substance misuse in a friend group where such permissive tendencies are more common.

3. Social Media

While the Internet has done much to bring people closer together, there are also many pitfalls of an online lifestyle. If you are struggling with social or emotional problems, and all you see are posts from people who appear to be living their best lives, it can cause more feelings of isolation, depression and shame. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest heavy social media use is detrimental to mental health, though several organizations and influencers are working to reverse this trend by being honest about their struggles in hopes of fighting the stigma of mental health challenges.

The Ken Seeley Solution

While these are some common risk factors that lead to addiction, everyone is different, and there is a wide range of reasons someone might begin to struggle with a substance misuse disorder. Though several things come into play to create the slippery slope into addictive behavior, recognizing your environmental triggers can allow you to take the necessary steps to minimize their effects and regain control of your life through recovery.

Despite the hurdles you may have faced because of your addiction, it’s never too late to get help. At our Palm Springs facility, we offer a rehab environment that prepares you for the next stages of recovery. Our treatment model has a history of success at improving our clients’ quality of life. Contact us today to learn more.  

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