There are few times in life when it proves wise to lump multiple people with the same health problem in a “box,” claiming the same causes and effects for all individuals. This proves true for addiction, as much as any other condition. Still, science proves genes play a role in substance abuse. So is addiction genetic?
Is Addiction Genetic?
Scientists seek answers to the same question as you do, “Is addiction genetic?” But in looking for an answer, they actually seek genes relating to individual vulnerability to addiction. In other words, scientists believe that many of us are born with a higher likelihood of continuing our substance abuse, once we start. Or you can say that some people have genes that make it easier for them to walk away from drugs or alcohol.
In fact, research shows that the child of someone with a substance abuse problem suffers eight times higher likelihood of also suffering a substance abuse problem, like their parents.
At the same time, scientists believe some people’s genes set them up for worse withdrawal symptoms than others. While one person seems to skate through withdrawal in a few days, others suffering problems with the same type of addiction suffer lengthy withdrawal and more severe effects.
Overriding What Your Genes Say
While genes point to these human traits, your genes do not dictate your life. In fact, your environment, family life, support system, and many other factors come into play in leading you into or out of substance abuse.
Many researchers point to studies showing that about half of your likelihood for addiction comes down to your coping skills. So what you learn and practice in coping with life stress matters as much as your genes. That is the upside of your question, “Is addiction genetic?” You can beat your higher odds for addiction despite your genes if you simply learn and use good coping skills.
Putting Family Addiction Behind You and the People You Love
Since people in families share vulnerability for addiction, many families suffer multiple generations of this complex problem. But you can end your family history of addiction. This is true whether you are the first in your family to abuse drugs or alcohol, or one of many.
The coping skills that help many people override their genes also help you end your addiction. So forget about genes and concentrate on finding the right therapies you need for a sober future. These important therapies and programs include:
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment
- 12-Step Program
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy Program
Help your whole family by helping yourself first, at Gateway Foundation Pekin in Pekin, IL. Call Gateway Pekin at 309.346.7800 now, to start a brighter future without addiction. Ask, “Is addiction genetic,” to learn more about how Gateway Pekin can help your family heal.