Environmental Factors in Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Just like genetics can have a factor in the chances of becoming an addict, the environment plays a big role too. If a person lives where they are surrounded by bars or drug dealers, the chances of becoming an addict can increase. It is important for schools and the community to expose teens to education and recovery options to decrease the chances of addiction.

Community and peers can influence a person to do drugs or alcohol as teens can try to fit in by hanging out with a cool crowd. If they partake in drugs or alcohol with this group of people that they look up to, they will gain acceptance. Just because teens can live in an area where people are abusing substances does not mean that their parents will not be shocked at their own kids using. In order to avoid this from happening, parents need to educate their kids on peer pressure by letting them know that they do not need to commit illegal acts in order to be cool, educating them on the health factors that come from abusive substances, and the legal methods that occur if caught.

Home life can be a factor as well because if kids see their parents drinking or doing drugs, they will learn from their parents and think this is acceptable behavior. Teens can also abuse substances as a means of escape from the stresses of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and a cruel upbringing. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, abused kids are seven times more likely to go under the influences by the age of twelve. Even if their parents do not do drugs, never being around their kids to notice the signs of substance or not educating them on the harms of drugs is a contributing factor.

School can be a risk as well if students tend to not join extracurricular activities or are surrounded by rebellious students that they look up to. If students hung around with other students that did great things and got good grades, they would have a better chance of self-improvement and success. While the environment can lead to addiction, it can also lead to recovery as well. Schools should have more programs coming in to educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol as well as psychology and health classes to stress on those issues as well.

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