Drug tolerance: this term, which is often confused with dependence and addiction, is a common issue that naturally develops in human beings. Some people can have an extremely low tolerance, whereas some people can have a very high tolerance to different types of alcohol and drugs.

We all know that tolerance is something that can be established the more you use something…but can we be born with a high tolerance to drugs or medications?


What Is Drug Tolerance?

When your body is regularly exposed to something like a medication, you establish a tolerance to it. For example: if you’ve been using the same medication for a few years now and the dosage that helped you before no longer has an effect on you, you grew a higher tolerance to that drug. When you establish a high tolerance to a medication, it means the dosage will need to be increased or that it may be time to switch medicines.

Tolerance can also be developed when it comes to alcohol and illicit drugs. When someone uses a substance for an extended period of time, they will eventually need more of that substance to achieve the same feeling that they had when they first started using it.


Risks of Having A High Tolerance

While having a high tolerance can seem positive, it can have very dangerous effects down the line. If someone has a high tolerance, they may be at higher risk for the following issues and conditions:

  • Dependence and addiction
  • Flame-up of conditions
  • Overdose
  • Cross-tolerance
  • Sexual issues
  • Cancer
  • Bone loss
  • High blood pressure

There are many reasons why someone may have a high tolerance. These reasons could include a variety of behavioral and genetic factors.


Why Someone May Have A High Tolerance to Drugs

Someone may have a high tolerance if they use a substance or medication regularly. If they have been prescribed a drug for a while or have used an illicit drug heavily, they are likely to have a high tolerance.

While tolerance is different for everyone, a large portion of it is also caused by genetic factors. Someone could have high tolerance for simply being who they are. For example, those with a higher body weight and young age may have a very low tolerance and vice versa.


Passing Tolerance Down to Your Children

Nobody intentionally passes high tolerance down the family line; however, it’s possible that family history could have a lot to do with one’s tolerance to drugs. If you have a high tolerance to alcohol and drugs, that trait may be passed down to your offspring.


Breaking the Drug Tolerance Chain

Tolerance is something that we can’t necessarily avoid; however, there are ways to manage our tolerance and use substances responsibly to avoid dangerous or negative effects. If high tolerance is something that runs in your family, consider discussing this with your doctor before using any prescription medications.

To learn more about drug tolerance and drug and alcohol treatment options, contact our team of medical and drug abuse professionals by visiting us here or giving us a call at 267.209.7312.