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Who is affected by Addiction???


According to a recent study, more than 19 million Americans older than 12 battle with an addiction disorder. Abuse of prescription pain pills, alcohol, and illicit or illegal drugs fall into these statistics. Out of the 19 million, 8.5 million of these individuals struggle with both substance use and a mental disorder simultaneously. 


Although addiction doesn’t discriminate, there are certain groups of people that it more often affects. Young adults ages 18-25 hold the highest percentage of addiction. This percentage is equal to over 14%.


Addiction often tends to affect men and women differently and has higher percentages in certain races. Studies show that 9.4% of men versus 5.2% of women older than 12 struggle with an addiction disorder. Those who identify as Native American and Pacific Islanders have the highest percentage of affected individuals at 4.6%.

What Influences Addiction?


Many factors can work together and cause an addiction disorder to develop. This is why it’s so important to be educated on certain influences of addiction. Some of these may include but are not limited to:


  • Existent Mental Disorders: Mental disorders are a very influential cause of addiction disorders. These include anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc. Mental disorders change the brain chemistry of an individual and may cause that person to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the effects of his or her disorder. 

  • Type of Drug: Certain substances have been found to be more addictive than others. Heroin and meth are highly addictive, whereas substances like marijuana are viewed as being less addictive.

  • Genetics: Genes play a huge role in the development of an addiction disorder. Studies show that individuals with a family history of addiction are far more likely to become addicted themselves. 

  • Environmental Factors: The people and circumstances that we surround ourselves with have a huge influence on our choices. Individuals whose friends and family abuse substances are more likely to do so themselves. Peer pressure can be a huge influence on substance addiction as well.

Spotting Addiction: What to Look Out For


In order to catch an addiction before it becomes severe, there are certain signs to watch for. These can include both behavioral and physical signs. Each case of signs is unique.


Some of the behavioral signs include:

  • Missing important events or constantly rescheduling

  • Encountering law enforcement on a semi-regular basis

  • Financial and relationship problems

  • Isolating themselves or being secretive of their activities

  • Having verbal and behavioral problems at school or work

  • Problems with sleeping too much or not sleeping enough

  • Obsessive conversation and thoughts about using


Some physical signs of addiction can include:

  • Excessive runny or itching nose

  • Red eyes and dilated pupils

  • Excessive body odor like sweat or bad breath

  • Changes in dietary habits causing weight gain or loss

  • Slurred or repetitive speech patterns

  • Looking tired all the time

  • Ignoring appearance completely

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