Does Addiction Run in Families?

person smoking

It’s a fascinating and, at times, unsettling question to ponder: Does addiction run in families? Yes, it does but not in the way you expect. Studies reveal that genetics account for one’s predisposition to addiction.

That being said, if you or someone close to you is grappling with addiction, it’s natural to wonder whether this insidious disease was handed down through the family tree.

In this article, we’ll explore the complex relationship between genetics and addiction. Most importantly, we’ll offer insight and hope, helping relatives move from crisis to stability.

Read on to learn more about the effects of addiction on family.

Is Addiction a Disease?

Well… it depends on who you ask. Some people think addiction is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which makes you crave drugs or alcohol more than normal. Others consider it a lifestyle choice rather than a medical condition.

But here’s what most experts agree on: there are specific behaviors associated with substance use disorders that change how your brain functions.

When someone routinely uses drugs, their dopamine system becomes less sensitive. This means that they need more and more of the substance to feel pleasure.

The desire for pleasure can be so great that the person’s daily life revolves around getting and using the drug, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their fix. When this behavior becomes harmful to the person’s health, money, or relationships, they may need a rehab center to help them control their substance use.

Does Addiction Run in Families?

Genes are a factor in addiction in families. However, genetics don’t cause anyone to form a drug habit.

It’s more accurate to say that genetic factors make you more vulnerable to addiction. Some scientists say that genes account for up to 50% of a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction.

This doesn’t mean you can never develop an addiction if your family has no history of drug abuse. While you may not have the same genetic vulnerabilities as families with addiction genes, other factors (such as your environment) can still drive you to take drugs.

The Effects of Drug Addiction in Families

For many families, addiction can be an isolating experience. Family members may feel powerless, as though there is nothing they can do to help their tormented loved ones.

They may also blame themselves for not being able to stop the addiction or prevent it from happening in the first place. This feeling of guilt can lead to additional stress.

Drug Addiction in Families

Remember that addiction affects every member of a family differently. One family member can be deeply affected by a loved one’s addiction, while other members remain untouched.

Manage Your Stress and Anxiety Without Substances

So, does addiction run in families? The jury’s still out. However, research has shown that some genetic factors contribute to the development of addiction. Check out The Hader Clinic if you are interested in addiction treatment.

If you have a family history of addiction, avoid drugs or alcohol whenever you’re going through a stressful situation. Instead, read our health blogs for safe ways to cope with anxiety. Our guides will keep you off the path of substance abuse.


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