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8. Could I Become an Addict? > “Vulnerability”—Who Will Take Drugs?

“Vulnerability”—Who Will Take Drugs?

Drug users are a diverse population of individuals, and drug abuse, in general, is a complex process. But, key questions are the following: What traits or characteristics do drug users share? Can we identify groups or individuals that will become addicts or are in danger of becoming addicts? It would be a great thing if we could, because then we could target these people for prevention and treatment. Targeting just this group would likely save lots of money and possibly be more effective because the efforts would be focused rather than broadly aimed and widespread.

It turns out that we have studied drug users and addicts and have identified factors that are more common among them than among the general population. These factors contribute to the vulnerability to becoming a drug user. At the outset of this discussion, we can say that we don’t know enough about vulnerability to precisely predict who will become an addict and who won’t. There is no mathematical equation that we can use! Rather, vulnerability studies provide more of a probability of becoming a drug user. In general, the more vulnerability factors that a person possesses, the greater the likelihood that he or she will become an addict—but again, there is no certainty. Nonetheless, someone with vulnerability factors should be interested in this topic in order to assess what he or she needs to do to avoid becoming involved with drugs. It can be scary for many to face this, but understanding vulnerability is one of the best ways to prevent drug use and become a healthier person in general.


  

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