Science has investigated the causation of addiction and methods of prevention since the early 1900s. Original theorists brought to light many of the myths and misconceptions beyond hereditary addiction that we have since parted ways with. However, before recent times society generally treated addiction as a moral failing rather than a health problem. The question remains, can addiction be hereditary?
What is Hereditary Addiction?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines addiction as a medical condition where you cannot stop or control your substance use. Despite the negative effects and consequences, it can have on your life and health. Hereditary addiction is the genetic predisposition our parents pass down to us that leads to a higher risk of substance abuse. The American Psychological Association (APA), half of a person’s susceptibility to addiction can be linked to genetic factors.
What are The Causations of Addiction?
Many individuals suffering from addiction may know what lead them there, however, there is not one distinguishable cause of addiction. What scientific research has uncovered over the years is that there are risk factors that contribute to the probability of someone developing addictive behaviors. There is also a range of addictive behavior types and severities, often accompanied by other co-occurring disorders.
Understanding the full context of all contributing risk factors of addiction is important. When examining whether someone is prone to substance abuse because a relative suffers from addiction take all the below risks into consideration.
- The availability of substances / substance acceptance in the peer group
- Parental attention and supervision in critical years
- Lack of social acceptance or comfortability
- Economical class and poverty level
- Experiencing trauma or abuse
- Restrictive upbringing
Environmental vs Hereditary Addiction?
There is a well-known debate on whether or not addiction is a medical condition caused by environmental influencers or if it’s possible to be hereditary. After years of experience, studies have shown that there are significant linking factors to both causations. Genetic predisposition, preexisting mental disorders, anxiety, and depression are all common among addicts. There are also environmental risk factors.
Research on the human genome has proven that addiction is a complex genetic disease, and the presence of certain genes, like ADH1B and ALDH2, are known to affect your propensity for developing an addiction. Though even with findings this evidence there is no “addiction” gene. The probability linked to those genes in combination with exposure to substance use has shown a significant value however someone who has never used a substance but has the gene marker wouldn’t suffer as an addict does.
Today, this information resulted in doctors asking questions leading to better care through knowing family history and upbringing. Often environmental addiction and hereditary addiction play a role together. Just because you have the predisposition for the disease doesn’t mean you will get it however you increase your risk by surroundings that provide influence to your decisions.
How Harm Reduction Centers Can Help
If you are struggling with addiction, it is time to ask for help. Addiction can happen to anyone—no matter the gender, or genetic predisposition. The Harm Reduction Centers offers a wide variety of addiction treatment services aimed at your recovery. We provide personalized treatment plans so that we can get to the bottom of your addiction and treat it from all angles. If you feel that your addiction is becoming uncontrollable, consider joining us for the care you deserve. Call (866) 205-1382 at any time to reach our admissions team.