Many questions come down to the question of nature vs. nurture. Put another way: If something is the result of genetic or hereditary components or if the reasons things are the way they are is because of factors that relate to upbringing, peers, and society.
The question of whether or not addiction is based on genetic factors is an oversimplification. People may be predisposed to reasons that can make them more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, but this does not mean they are fated to live a life of addiction. To learn more about how genetics, family history, personal history, socioeconomic circumstances, and other factors play a role in addiction, reach out to the experts at Solution Based Treatment & Detox today at 833.999.1941 for more information about our addiction treatment programs.
The Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health
There is a close link between addiction and mental health. Those born with genetic factors that increase the likelihood of mental health disorders are more likely to develop addictions. These mental health disorders include:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Bipolar disorder
However, studies have shown that most children with parents who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse and addiction do not end up having problems with addiction. Seeing the effect of drugs and alcohol on a parent can, in some cases, deter a child or young adult from wanting to end up in similar circumstances.
Is Addiction Genetic?
Does “genetic addiction” exist? According to studies, there is a 40% to 60% chance of a person facing problems with addiction if they display specific gene markers, also known as “expressions.” These are factors related to an individual’s genetics that can make them more susceptible to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and turning to a life that results in addiction.
You may have heard of the term “crack baby,” used as a catch-all phrase to describe children born to those using drugs. Children born to those who abuse drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can start life with many congenital disabilities, a dependence on drugs, or fetal alcohol syndrome. A child born to someone who abuses drugs or alcohol during pregnancy may not show all the signs of future problems at birth. A person using drugs during pregnancy likely has a co-occurring mental health issue or other life problems they struggle to navigate. As a result, their child is expected to be born into an environment with many challenges and distressing factors.
But can addiction be genetic? Statistically, women are at greater risk of developing dependence or addiction. Risk factors boil down to genetic variants and the tendency of women to have a lower tolerance to drugs and alcohol.
Dependence means a person will experience withdrawal symptoms, which fuels the cycle of abuse. Women who become addicted to alcohol or drugs are more likely to struggle with cravings and be at risk for relapse. It’s essential to keep in mind that women are often highly successful at remaining sober after undergoing effective detox and rehab treatments.
The Myth of an “Addictive Personality”
Medically speaking, there is no such thing as an “addictive personality.” Instead, it’s recommended that medical experts focus on real-life biological, environmental, and situational elements that can influence a person’s likelihood of developing an alcohol or substance use disorder.
If a person grows up in a family that has issues with addiction, then they are going to experience trauma. If a person lives in an impoverished household or community, they are likely to witness stressful and upsetting challenges. These environmental factors can make a person feel hopeless, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism because they have not been taught effective coping strategies.
In treatment at SBT, our medical doctors and mental health practitioners take pride in treating our clients equally. There is no shame in where you come from or the arc of your life. It’s not your fault your genetics or environment predisposed you to the potential to struggle with addiction. The professionals at SBT provide those in need with the help they deserve.
Contact SBT Today About Addiction Treatment
In some instances, a person’s genetics or the environments they have lived in can make a person more likely to struggle with substance abuse. It’s essential to remember that judging a person for their poor decisions does not make the problem disappear or improve their well-being.
At Solution Based Treatment & Detox, we aim to help clients get their life back on the right track. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, we offer a range of treatment and therapy options. Family therapy may help you better understand why you have struggled with addiction. Reach out to us today at 833.999.1941 to speak with a trained representative who can tell you more about treatment options for lasting recovery.