Stress & Substance Use Disorders
The medical community has known for a long time that STRESS can make individuals more likely to develop an ADDICTION, possibly because people under chronic stress are more likely to turn to substances to cope.
However, using brain-imaging and other sophisticated tools, researchers have recently learned that STRESS also alters the microstructure of the brain itself in ways that make it more susceptible to ADDICTION.
A genetic predisposition may be the connecting factor that increases the chances of being highly impacted by a chronically stressful situation while it also increases susceptibility to substance abuse.
Although not everyone will become more susceptible to addiction when STRESS fractures their lives, There’s no doubt that understanding this research should make ALL OF US more understanding and compassionate to those who are — through no fault of their own — more vulnerable due to circumstances and genetics.