Why do some people occasionally flirt with street drugs during college or parties but never fall prey to addiction? Why are some people able to easily wean themselves off of painkillers once they recover from an injury while others become addicted to pills?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) classifies addiction as a disease — and like any other disease, some people have a higher chance of developing the disease than others. Addiction is a disease that alters a victim’s brain chemistry — which is why addicts are never really finished with their addiction and always run the risk of a relapse.
What makes someone prone to becoming addicted to prescription drugs or other substances? The following factors can be an influence:
- Your environment factors into addiction, just like it does many other diseases. You’re more likely to suffer addiction if you’ve been exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, poverty and other negative environmental stresses.
- Your stage of development when you are exposed to drugs. Teenagers are more vulnerable to addiction to painkillers and other drugs than adults. While the science is uncertain, the probability is that a teen’s still-developing brain is more apt to end up addicted.
- Your genetic background is also a huge factor. Genetic factors — including the propensity for alcoholism, addiction and other mental disorders — are a substantial part of why some people easily get addicted to drugs and others do not.
The important thing to keep in mind is that addiction can change how people behave. Normally, law-abiding citizens who end up addicted to pain pills after an accident may end up engaging in behaviors like prescription drug fraud, doctor shopping or other prescription drug crimes. They need compassion and help — not prison.
If you or your loved one has been charged with a prescription drug crime, find a compassionate defense attorney as quickly as possible.