The problem of addictions, due to its complexity, requires a complex, interdisciplinary approach, to achieve an integral approach that leads us to understand it in the most complete way possible. One of the edges of reading and analysis possible in the area of addictions is the social area .

What does the social focus do?

In the configuration of an addiction, many aspects, conditions and factors come together. Beyond the physical and psychological characteristics that a person must have in order to develop addictive behavior, and outside the most intimate and individual, there are social factors that condition it and are intertwined with other circumstances for this to occur.

The broader family and social context , where the person is born, raised and develops his/her life, may condition, although not determine, the habit of compulsive consumption, and in some way promote it.

As each family is different, there will be the possibility that each one will configure a different position on consumption. Therefore, just as some families promote consumption and others abruptly prohibit it, acquiring repressive features and the order of taboo, other families can, without facilitating or prohibiting consumption , educate so that this, if it is to exist, is in a moderate way.

Social and Family Factors of Addiction

Are there social and family factors that can promote addictive or risky behavior?

Yes, there are many factors that can constitute a risk. We can mention the lack of support networks, involvement of family ties, communication and dialogue, or the presence of family members or close loved ones with problematic consumption.

When a social and family environment promotes substance use, risk factors that increase the likelihood that use will occur and that use will be problematic take precedence. In other words, if a child is born and grows up in a family system where older people (and sometimes also young people under 18) drink alcohol, at every family meeting, the child may come to think that drinking cannot be missed . If this same child observes a significant reference figure drinking in excess, having fun, he may come to relate alcohol = fun.

You may also become accustomed to someone in your immediate environment taking sleeping pills, not being nervous, or being calmer, without proper supervised treatment.

The message is the same: you need the substances to have a better time . And even if children are told not to drink, or not to over drink, or not to get involved with certain substances, it will be the concrete acts and facts that will modulate the behaviours of young people. They learn more from what they see than from what they are told, so we must accompany our words with our actions.

Other recurring consumer scenes are often seen in the neighborhood. Sitting on the sidewalk, young and old, as a lifestyle they use the “stop at the corner”, with people they consider friends but perhaps only momentary companions of consumption.

Are these aspects sufficient to determine a consumption problem?

Of course, these social aspects are not enough. Other factors that are linked to the social must come together. Social phenomena are only one component, important and conditioning but not determining. In the network of issues that generate a problematic situation of consumption, we find the social, cultural, physical-neurological and psychological .

Each member of society that we make up takes a position, sometimes without realizing it, about different social events and problems. Especially with addictions, it is difficult to understand if this is a problem, or if there is an intention to generate discomfort, as well as confusing the addict as a synonym of criminal, or dangerous.

Depending on what position we take as part of society we can contribute to social change or not.