Depending on the individual, culture and other parameters, people abuse drugs for several reasons. People also do not abuse drugs for several reasons.
Risk factors are those factors that make an individual more likely to use drugs
Protective factors are those factors that make an individual less likely to use drugs.
These factors vary from person to person and what may be a risk factor for one person may not be for another.
What you should also note is that being at risk doesn’t necessarily mean you will one day abuse drugs. It just means your chances are higher. And finally if your protective factors outweigh the risks, you are in a good place.
So what are these factors?
- Age: being young (identity struggle)
- Poverty, jobless, homeless
- Academic failure
- Peer influence
- Stress, unhappiness, rebellion
- Family (divorced, no supervision, parents or siblings use drugs)
- Drug availability in the community
- Genetics (pregnant women who abuse drugs)
- Gender: men are x2 likely than women
- Mental illness
- Good family connections and supervision
- Academic competence
- Higher health literacy and personal development skills
- Cultures that discourage drug abuse and reinforced laws
One other main reason why people especially young people abuse drugs is because they think everyone is doing it so it must be normal. Research however shows non drug abusers by far outweigh those who abuse.
So you are in the majority!
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About the author
Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.