Anormed UK

Who Is At The Highest Risk Of Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a very complicated affliction that can affect an individual regardless of their background, social status, economic status, gender and more. Millions of people across the United Kingdom currently struggle with battling against drug addiction – there are many different factors that make drugs an extremely tight vice that is hard to break.


The signs & symptoms that come through drug addiction can vary depending on the individual and the substance that they are misusing on a daily basis. There is a silver lining to drug addiction as addiction can be treated through professional rehabilitation addiction treatment. Many doctors and scientists are still studying and trying to understand drug addiction and exactly what can cause someone to be addicted to drug substances.


There are factors such as the environment they live in, personality traits, past trauma, and genetics and even people who are stressed can turn to drugs in order to relieve their stress. People who take drugs on a one-off basis aren’t automatically going to become hooked and some people that try a drug will end up never touching it again but when you take into account the different factors to taking drugs, addiction can soon develop over time.


Although nobody can eliminate the possibility of developing a drug addiction, there have been several studies done that have highlighted some of the most common risk factors when it comes to someone developing a drug addiction.

People With High IQ

There is a misconception about drug addiction that uneducated people are more likely to develop drug addictions or come from poor backgrounds but there are many addicts who come from higher backgrounds and have successful careers such as top-level bankers, lawyers, and doctors who have unfortunately developed an addiction to drug substances. People with high IQs are susceptible to drug addiction due to the massive amount of stress from their employment, isolation and failed relationships that are associated with those with high IQs.


It has been found that younger people with high IQs are more likely to try psychoactive substances such as cocaine, marijuana or heroin when they grow older. Another reason it has been found that people with higher IQs are more likely to develop drug addiction is that they ‘intellectualise’ their drug addiction. However, there is no solid concrete proof that individuals with higher IQs are likely to develop a drug addiction but it is a common theory.

Mental Illness

Those suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are more likely to abuse drug substances which will ultimately develop into an addiction over time. The reason why it is common is due to the different chemical reactions inside their brain compared to those who don’t live with a mental health condition.


People who suffer from mental health conditions are more likely to partake in drug abuse as it is a way that they can self-medicate from the pain that their condition is causing them as certain substances allow them to ‘take the edge off or allow them to feel ‘normal.’ This will often lead to a vicious cycle of addiction – drug addiction can make individual symptoms worse and leave them feeling more depressed and anxious and in some serious cases suicidal.

Children Of Addicts

According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), people are more likely to suffer from drug addiction if their parents suffered from an alcohol or drug addiction. Compared to the general population, people who grew up with parents that suffered from addiction are 45% to 79% more likely to develop a drug addiction themself. If a mother who was addicted to substances during their pregnancy can birth babies that are also addicted to the substance. This very early dependency may lead to addiction further in the future.


It is currently unknown whether that drug addiction is genetic or that is something that is inherited from your family or another factor can be because they have been heavily exposed to substances from an early age it will increase the likelihood that an individual will attempt to experiment with drugs at a later day. This doesn’t mean just because your parents were addicts that you are destined to become an addict as many children of addicts grow up to never touch a substance due to them being heavily exposed during their childhood.

What Can Add To The Risk Factor Of Drug Addiction?

As previously spoken about before, drug addiction is an affliction that can affect anyone from any walk of life meaning that in some cases people develop a drug addiction due to different risk factors. We’ve put together some risk factors that can cause people to seek out drug abuse.

Current Environment

A risk of drug addiction is an individual current environment. Younger individuals who lack parental guidance have been found to be more likely to experiment with drugs or those suffering from abuse or neglect will use drugs in order to cope with their emotions. 


Another risk among young people is peer pressure. ‘Friends’ may peer pressure you in your friendship group in order to experiment with certain types of substances that may lead to an addiction in the future date. If a drug is easy to get your hands on due to your social group, it can speed up your drug addiction as there is easy availability.

Drug Of Choice

There is no set timeline for the course of drug addiction as some addictions can develop within several months or years while some can develop quicker. The drug of choice can play a role in how quickly you develop an addiction.


Drug substances such as cocaine, heroin, and ketamine tend to be more physically addictive than substances like alcohol. Using cocaine or heroin will lead to the ‘comedown’ phase after the effects of the drug have worn off which can be painful for the user. This will push an individual to seek out more of the substance in order to stop the pain. This becomes a dependency which will ultimately lead to a full-blown addiction.

Free 24/7 Callback Service

Start your journey today on the road to recovery by reaching out to our friendly addiction managers who will be able to tell you the best next steps in treating your addiction.

Free Callback Service

Our trained addiction counsellors are available 24 hours a day to help you