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The risk of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs can be attributed to ones personality, genetics and the environment one is involved in. warning signs can become apparent and recognized by friends and family.

Your behavior often gives you away. There are many different kinds of addiction, but alcohol and drug dependency are the most prevalent. Deaths due to alcohol and drug addiction in the United State run into over 100,000 people annually. This is a very high figure and pretty frightening.

Both drug addiction and alcoholism can become chronic conditions, they are often characterized by changes in brain patterns, these changes can cause a person to have a desire that is uncontrollable and therefore, will abuse drugs and alcohol. Despite the knowledge that these substances can be and are harmful, the desire for them is uncontrollable.

People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs are not ‘immoral or weak’ they have a disease which is caused by environmental influences, genetics and behavioral patterns. Understanding the risk factors, one is able to take steps to reduce the chances of developing such life threatening disorders.

Risk factors are not determined by one single aspect, it is a combination of their biological make-up; this includes exposure to alcohol and drugs, and ones genetic factors. Here are some risk factors to consider:

• Age: Adolescents are considered to be at a greater risk of becoming substance abusers or addicts due to their inclination to more risky aspect of behaviors, together with their biological and genetically inherited factors makes them more vulnerable to becoming addicts.

• Your associates: Friends and family can have a huge impact on your addictions, this is particularly so with young people who, if they are exposed on a regular basis to alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to be tempted to use and eventually become addicted.

• Stress factors: Stress can play an important part in becoming addicted to substances. Often it starts with small amounts to just unwind, and in no time at all, you are addicted and can’t do without, this is especially true if you are genetically predisposed to an addiction.

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