Is Addiction Hereditary?

The nature of addiction is something that scientists have been trying to crack for a long time now. It’s a difficult thing to understand because each instance is slightly different, and while there are trends in addiction, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly why some people struggle and others don’t. 

We’re going to discuss the idea of genetic predisposition in addiction, hopefully giving you some insight into your own situation and addiction in general. 

Let’s get started:

Is There a Genetic Predisposition in Addiction?

There are a few reasons that it’s tricky to determine the role that genetics play in addiction. 

The first is that the children of people who use and abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to take on the characteristics of their parents. That means that they will learn behaviors and attitudes, all of which could have played a part in the parent getting addicted to drugs in the first place. 

Behaviors and attitudes are definitively learned behaviors that are far more connected to culture than they are to genetics. 

That said, it is not a guarantee by any means that the child of someone who abuses drugs will abuse drugs themselves. It seems that environmental factors are more pertinent.

Is Addiction Hereditary?

What Role Does Environment Play?

It’s easy to understand how a negative environment would contribute to a higher chance of drug use. For example, if you grow up in a home where drugs are common, you will not think about them in the same way that someone who grew up in a different environment would. 

Further, you will have more access to the people and substances that are handling and selling these drugs. They may even be people very close to you.

Where does Genetics Come in?

Our limited understanding of addiction does show some correlation between genetics and addiction. 

There is certainly a positive correlation, seeing as one study states that an “individual’s risk tends to be proportional to the degree of genetic relationship to an addicted relative.” In other words, the closer you are to someone who is an addict, the higher the chance you have. 

What isn’t clear, though, is if there is a sort of “addictive” gene. Whether a person’s predisposition to start using addictive drugs is a side-effect of a different gene is unknown. 

Options Moving Forward

Whatever a person’s environmental or genetic situation, though, there is hope for recovery. 

Rehabilitation centers are constantly rising to the needs of the addicted population, and there are options for everyone, no matter the addiction. For example, oxycodone addiction treatment is an excellent option for those who have fallen to the temptation of pain pills. 

There are excellent treatments that combine medical and therapeutic methods in place for individuals to reconcile with their addiction, move forward, and break free from addiction. 

So, even if your parents have addictions, it doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to the same fate. Alternatively, if you are worried that your children will become addicted to something, know that you have the opportunity to create an environment that doesn’t result in addiction.

Want to Learn More?

Addiction is a multifaceted obstacle for many people. While genetic predisposition may play a part, there is still a responsibility on the individual to work toward a better future. Explore our site to learn more about the ins and outs of addiction.