How Quickly Can Someone Become Addicted to Drugs?
How long does it take to get addicted? How much can you have before you get hooked?
To answer those questions is complicated. Addiction—or getting hooked—develops differently in different people. Someone can take one hit or one puff and be helplessly hooked. Someone else may use a substance many times and not technically be addicted to it.
How long does it take or how much can you have before you get addicted are lousy questions to ask. Addiction dawns without warning. Before you know what happened, you’ll be in its grip.
Risk Factors for Addiction
While you cannot know how long it takes to become addicted to a substance, what is known is what happens in your brain when you become addicted. Studies have determined certain things that can influence addiction and the speed at which it develops. Here is a list of some of those factors:
- Home Environment – Children, and especially teens, are impressionable. If Mom or Dad are using, their children are often tempted to follow in their footsteps.
- Genetics – Addiction is more common in people with a family history of the disease. If you have a relative who abuses drugs or alcohol, you are at greater risk of becoming addicted if you abuse drugs.
- Gender – Studies suggest males are more likely to have a drug or alcohol problem, but females develop the disease more quickly.
- Peer Pressure – Young people are especially influenced by their peers. If close friends are frequently using drugs, the chances of you doing the same increase.
- Lack of Family Involvement – An unstable household or lack of parental supervision or spousal communication can steer individuals toward substance abuse.
- Loneliness – Loneliness often leads to depression. Studies indicate depressed persons have greater odds of turning to substances to cope with their feelings.
- Highly Addictive Drugs – Some substances are more addictive than others. Stimulants and painkillers are some of the more addictive substances available. However, soft drugs, such as marijuana, are also addictive.
It Doesn’t Take Long to Become an Addict
Addiction affects nearly 23 million Americans today, many of whom are struck by the disease after just a few uses. Simply dabbling with a substance can lead to a lifelong set of consequences. Once developed, addiction can ruin your life.
Worried About Your Drug Use?
Whatever substance you are using, it threatens your family, career, freedom—even your life itself. Today can be your first step towards freedom.
It’s important to recognize, substance abuse and addiction don’t happen in a vacuum. The path to recovery and wholeness involves getting to the root the problem. To get at underlying hurt and bring lasting healing takes a holistic—spirit, mind and body—approach to addiction diagnosis, management and treatment.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced doctors and staff strongly believe that faith-based treatment, encompassing spiritual, physical and mental health, will help our clients and their families bring spiritual power and clearer psychological understanding to their healing and recovery.
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