Yes — addiction has a genetic component. In fact, at least half of the factors that make people prone to addiction appear to be linked to genetics. Yet addiction is a complex disorder, which makes the truth more complicated. The exact circumstances that lead to developing a Substance Addiction vary from person to person. Besides genetics, social and environmental factors also play a huge role.
If you have a family member struggling with Drug or Alcohol Addiction, especially a parent, you may be afraid that you’ll also become addicted. However, a genetic predisposition does not mean you are fated to have a Substance Addiction. It is important to understand this issue so you can take extra precautions if needed.
Is There an Addiction Gene?
Genetics are powerful codes that form the makeup of every living thing on Earth, from human beings to our four-legged companions. Your DNA is the blueprint for building and creating your genetic makeup. It grants you specific characteristics that make you uniquely you. Sometimes, DNA also carries risk factors that can be passed down to your descendants, such as addiction.
There does not seem to be one single “addiction gene.” It’s much more complex than that.
Hundreds of genes inside your DNA may increase your risk of developing a Substance Addiction. Even if you carry specific genetic variations that enhance your predisposition towards a particular type of addiction, this doesn’t guarantee that addiction will actually take hold.
Genetic Influence on Addiction
Scientists are hard at work, attempting to identify which genes increase an individual’s risk of addiction. With a greater understanding of which genes or combinations of genes lead to addiction, this information could be used to improve early prevention and treatment.
This type of research is challenging. There appears to be innumerable genes associated with Substance Addiction, from a family history of mental illness to behavioral genes. So, no one knows exactly how big an influence genetics has on addiction.
Even with a genetic predisposition for addiction, there’s no single factor that predicts a Drug or Alcohol Addiction. Often, you’ll find that addiction is caused by a domino effect of circumstances that lead to compulsive use. Once the disease of addiction alters your brain chemistry, appropriate Recovery treatment is the only way to find freedom.
How We Can Help With Addiction
Addiction is a disease that can devastate entire families. Through Recovery, you and your family can heal together and emerge stronger. If you struggle with a Substance Addiction or you suspect that you may be genetically predisposed to addiction, 7 Summit Pathways is here to help.
In an atmosphere of supportive and personalized care, you’ll receive evidence-based treatment to address your Substance Addiction as well as the factors contributing to the disease, whether genetic, social or environmental. Our holistic therapies treat you as an individual with your own specific needs.