Contributing Factors to Substance Abuse and Addiction
A World Health Organization (WHO) report, entitled ‘”Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence”, details many environmental and individual factors, including genetics. Genetics contribute to the increased likelihood that an individual will abuse drugs, and to what extent the substance abuse may escalate. Environmental risk factors include availability of drugs, poverty, social changes, peer influences, employment status, type of occupation and cultural attitudes. Individual risk factors include: being a victim of child abuse, personality disorders, extreme changes in family situation, interfamily dependence problems, academic stress, poor academic performance, social deprivation, depression, and suicidal behavior. The report also states:
‘”in thinking about dependence, it is important to remember that over a lifespan many people experiment with a variety of potentially dependence-producing substances, but most do not become dependent. There are also individual differences in susceptibility to substance dependence due to environmental and genetic factors.”
A college student’s decision-making skills are influenced by a number of different factors: including peer pressure, separation from family and friends, academic performance pressures, and biological mental duress can also contribute greatly to substance abuse.
The following further explanation of different factors that may contribute to addiction among college students: