Few things in life can tear apart your life like an addiction. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or any other substance; addiction will take over every aspect of your life. It is treatable, which is good news. If you go to an addiction treatment center, you’ll be put through various different processes to help overcome this problem. A significant amount of time is spent getting to the root cause of your addiction as tackling it can help you greatly.
This brings us onto the topic of this blog; is addiction genetic? Can your genes be one of the reasons you’re suffering from addiction – is it hereditary? The short answer is yes, addiction can often be genetic. But, to pinpoint it as the sole reason for addiction is almost impossible due to all other factors involved.
Genes increase your addiction risk
There is a lot of evidence out there that strongly suggests your genes could increase your chances of addiction by anywhere between 40-60%. This is not the same as saying your genetics cause addiction in that if one of your parents was an addict, then you’ll become one because it’s in their genes. It’s more to do with specific genetic expression, which can trigger things inside your body that might make you more likely to slip into addictive habits.
Some mental health illnesses are genetic
Furthermore, multiple mental health illnesses are found to be genetic and can be passed down through generations. Depression is one, as is bipolar disorder and ADHD. This is relevant as it’s discovered that individuals with mental health problems are in the high-risk zone for addiction. Many people get addicted to drugs as a way of escaping the pain brought on from conditions like depression or bipolar disorder.
As such, addiction can be somewhat genetic in that a mental health illness was passed onto an individual, which ended up increasing their chances of addiction.
There are many other factors at play
It’s almost impossible to look at an individual and blame their addiction on genetics. There are just too many environmental factors that come into play as well. Looking at your parents, if they exhibited addictive tendencies, it’s more likely you will because you copy what you see, not because of genetics. Then, you have all other factors like going through traumatic life events, suffering from non-genetic health problems, and so on.
So, as a summary, we can say that long term addiction is technically genetic. Or, more accurately, it has the potential to be down to genetics. You can’t argue with science, and there are studies that say your genetic makeup can make you more prone to addiction. However, it’s always important to explore all aspects of an individual to see what else could be triggering relapses and making them addicted to something.
This is where an addiction treatment center really helps as you will be looked after and all possibilities will be discussed. As such, the right treatments can be administered to tackle all the causes of addiction.