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Is Drug Addiction Genetic?

May 23, 2017 - , - 0 Comments

Drug AddictionGenetics is the term describing how physical and mental traits are passed down from generation to generation. Addiction happens when a person using drugs cannot control his usage. Physical dependence to illegal substances occurs, at least in part, because of genetic factors, although other causes are almost always present.

It is a fact that no one is born an addict, although the genetic predisposition of a person and his environment can be a contributing factor to addiction.

Drug addiction treatment programs are the most effective ways to address alcohol and drug dependence among people who would like to achieve a substance-free life. Although there has been a constant debate whether there is a link between genetics and addiction, a leading research says a range between 40% and 60% of addiction is attributed to genetic predisposition.

However, there is no specific gene pinpointed as responsible for a person’s predisposition or what is referred to as the “addiction gene”. Research has shown a 25% higher than average rate of children becoming addicted when both parents suffered from the condition as opposed to those of non-addict parents.

Why Do Some People Become Addicted and Some People Don’t?

Drug addiction is a complex disease that affects both physical and psychological aspects of a person. Not only does it change the way people think, but it also alters the behavioral pattern.  For research scientists working on solving the problem of drug addiction, being able to pin down the biological aspect of addiction can help provide an answer to this worldwide problem.

A lot of research has been done to prove the relationship between genetic predisposition and drug addiction. While it can be correct to say people develop the problem based on their characteristics and the environment they grew up with. It can also be significant to look at the relationship addiction has towards our inherited genes.

An important aspect one should look at is the culmination of several factors that contribute to addiction. It has been widely accepted that children who grew up with parents who struggle with addiction are likely to develop the same problem in their later years. This goes to show that addiction runs in families who had exposure to both environmental and genetic factors.

So, the question is, can you inherit drug addiction? Research findings from a study using twin participants showed that inherited rates of addiction passed down from generation to generation is low. Although, as seen with other participants who have had close relatives suffering from addiction, they were predisposed to develop the same problem in their lives. They were four or five times more likely to have the problem as compared to others who were not exposed or had addicted relatives.

The Importance of Finding the Link Between Your Genes and Addiction

To a greater extent, addiction is being tied with common genetic factors and environmental causes. Investigations done by professionals would allow a drug addiction treatment center to develop a prompt treatment protocol focusing on the individual’s genetic predisposition. This would remove the general perception people have on addiction and lead to a more individualized prevention and treatment plan.

Nonetheless, if a link is established between the two, it would pave the way for the discovery of treatment for other complex comorbid mental illnesses which a drug addiction treatment center can use. This would mean a customized treatment plan rather than a universal protocol which is made to fit every scenario.

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