This NYT article compares who gets addicted to drugs and alcohol, and who does not. Major findings indicate that an underlying mental illness or developmental predisposition can have a role in the development of addiction.
The take away from all this? If you have anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, don’t try to treat it yourself with drugs and alcohol–they have terrible side effects, and in the case of alcohol, actually make things worse. Instead, talk to a therapist, and if psychiatric meds are indicated, at least talk to a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioner who knows what they are doing.
- Essay: Who Falls to Addiction, and Who Is Unscathed? (nytimes.com)