Drug addiction is a social problem that may have negative effects to the society. Richardson described addiction as a “diseases affecting the brain resulting from a change in the chemical pathways which occurs as a result of the highs and lows of repeated drug use” (Richardson). Overall, there are various factors that make certain groups of people more vulnerable to drug addiction in the society than others; therefore, whereas all individuals might develop addictive behaviors, some groups of people such as children of addicts, aggressive young men, people with diagnosed depression, and bipolar illness are often more vulnerable to addictive conditions, such state is propagated by factors such as family history, background of the neighborhood and the individual’s values and tolerance level thereby justifying the fact that addiction affects people in a discriminatory manner.
First and foremost, addiction is determined by an individual’s age. Generally, young people are more vulnerable to addiction. Such a scenario is caused by the fact that teenagers tend to engage in experimental consumption of addictive drugs (Richardson). Satel noted that brain physiology is a central factor that influences the development of addictive behaviors among individuals (323). As such, teenagers are often more vulnerable to addictive conditions because of the fact that they are curious and tend to experiment every aspect of life.
In addition, an individual’s addiction ability may be influenced by frustration and hopelessness resulting from sexual molestation and other forms of abuse. Richardson reports that individuals who had been sexually abused during childhood are often more vulnerable to addiction as compared to individuals who had not undergone such trauma (Richardson). In addition, studies show that individuals who have various forms of mental complications are often more vulnerable to addiction as compared to people who do not have any complication.
Additionally, family history may influence an individual’s vulnerability to addiction. Richardson reported that individuals with family members who are addicted to drugs are often more vulnerable to addiction than those without an addicted family member. It is also believed parents who consume alcohol and other drugs tend to influence their children to develop addictive behaviors towards such drugs. In addition, certain individuals have genes that are more vulnerable to addiction as compared to others. Often individuals with such genes find it hard to quit the consumption of a given drug. On the other hand, some individuals possess genes that discourage them from getting addicted. For instance, some individuals have genes that make them feel uncomfortable whenever they consume an addictive drug.
Similarly, the nature of the surrounding neighborhood might also influence individuals to become drug addicts. It is believed that the numbers of individuals who are addicted to various drugs are often higher in poor income neighborhoods as compared to the high income neighborhoods. First and foremost, poor neighborhoods do not provide good role models to teenagers. As a result, young people in poor neighborhoods often perceive the use of drugs as a normal. Consequently, most teenagers engage in experimental drug use due to such attitude. Moreover, individuals staying in poor neighborhoods are often affected by depression and other mental problems due to the fact that poor neighborhoods are often associated with high unemployment rates, poor shelters and low living standards. Such factors make poor neighborhood residents more vulnerable to drug addiction as compared to residents of high income neighborhoods.
Furthermore, an individual’s attitudes, values, and behaviors may also influence the level of vulnerability of a particular individual to addiction (Satel 323). Generally, individuals who possess a higher level of tolerance for risk are more likely to engage in addictive drug abuse. On the other hand, individuals with low level of tolerance for risky behaviors often assess the effects of a drug based on the users’ health. Satel asserted that addiction “selects people who are bad at delaying gratification and gauging consequences, people who are impulsive, who think that they have little to lose, have few competing interests, or are willing to lie to a spouse” (323). As a result, low risk tolerant individuals are less likely to engage in addictive consumption of various drugs
In addition, children from unstable family backgrounds are more vulnerable to addiction. Such a scenario is caused by the fact unstable family backgrounds are often associated with ineffective parental guidance. As a result, children from such backgrounds may engage in drug abuse and ultimately become addicted to drugs. In addition, teenagers who drop out of school and children who have various academic challenges are often more vulnerable to addiction. Sometimes, unstable families might make children go through traumatic issues. For instance, some children are often exposed to domestic violence between the parents. As a result, such children may consume drugs continuously in order to help them neutralize the traumatizing memories of violence and other negative issues in their families. Unfortunately, such continuous use of a drug might result into addiction.
In conclusion, factors such as family background, an individual’s genetic makeup, and neighborhood background determine the extent to which one is vulnerable to addiction. Therefore, psychologists, addiction counselors and other relevant stakeholders should consider factors that predispose an individual to addiction to enable them offer effective counseling services to drug addicts.