Why Do Some People Become Addicted To Opioids While Other Do Not?

There is no single factor that can accurately point to whether or not someone is predisposed to or will become addicted to opioids. The chance for opioid or any other addiction is influenced by an individual’s social environment, biology and stage or age of development. The more risk factors someone possesses enhances the chance that exposure or prolonged exposure to opioids will lead to addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the following are the three most important risk factors:

  • Biology
  • Environment
  • Development


A person’s genetics combined with their environmental influences make up about half of what is known as addiction vulnerability. Also, ethnicity, gender and other psychological disorders can influence a person’s risk for opioid addiction.


There are many different influences included in a person’s environment. The following are a list of environmental factors that can be a big influence in the course of opioid abuse and addiction in someone’s life if there is a great deal of negativity in these factors:

  • Family and friends
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Quality of life
  • Amount of peer pressure
  • Any physical or sexual abuse
  • Parental involvement
  • Stress
  • Enabling physician or one that over-medicates

Never forget that some perfectly normal with a normal upbringing can just as easily become addicted to opioids if they become injured, and a physician gives them prescription opioids that are too strong, too liberally or both. Physical withdrawals are bad enough to drive anyone to addiction.


Environmental and genetic factors become intertwined with important development stages in an individual’s life to affect their vulnerability to opioid addiction once exposed. Adolescents usually experience twice the challenge. Even though taking drugs, especially opioids with the extreme euphoria, severe withdrawals and cheap access, any age or stage in life can lead to be becoming addicted, the earlier a person starts taking opioids or any drugs the more likely they are to reach serious stages of abuse and addiction. An adolescent’s brain is still developing in places that reign over judgement, self-control and decision making, so they are specifically prone to risk-taking behaviors like popping a few painkillers or snorting a line of heroin.

If you find yourself becoming addicted to prescription pain killers or are already addicted to them or heroin, there is help out there. The best help available in the Southeast United States, especially Florida, is the Seacrest Recovery Center. Please reach out to at (800) 411-8019, so we can start helping you.