Potential Risk Factors

Opioid Use Disorder doesn’t discriminate — it can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or economic status.1 No one intends for it to happen. Some factors can increase the risk of addiction. The more risk factors someone is exposed to, the greater the chance that taking drugs could lead to abuse and dependence.2


Genes determine how:2,3

  • The body reacts to a drug
  • A person responds to a drug
  • A person responds to their environment

    Negative environmental influences can increase the likelihood of addiction:2,3

  • Friends that are a source of negative peer pressure
  • A family history of substance abuse
  • AGE

    The younger someone starts using opioids, the more likely it is to become a serious problem.2

  • This is because young, adolescent brains have not fully developed in the areas that control decision making, judgment, and self-control.
  • Though brain development plays a role, misusing opioids can lead to dependence and drug addiction, no matter how old you are.
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