Topic 1 Introduction

Many factors differentiate individuals who are more prone to problematic use of tobacco, alcohol, and internet from those who are less prone to do so (Catalano et al., 2011; Hawkins et al., 1992).

RISK and PROTECTIVE factors:

  • Can be within the individual (internal),
  • Outside the individual (external), or
  • They may come from the interaction between internal and external influences.

The risk for problematic use of tobacco, alcohol, and internet and other adverse behaviours increases as the influence and/or number of risk factors increases and number and/or influence of protective factors decreases (NIDA, 2020).

BUT:

  • Presence of risk factors per se do not mean that person will automatically develop addictions someday,
  • Absence of risk factors do not mean that person will never develop addiction,
  • All people have some combination of risk and protective factors,
  • Their influence on human behaviour is interactive and it changes over the life span (NIDA, 2020).

The goal of prevention is to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors aiming that effect of protective factors outweigh those of risk factors!