Nearly everyone has at least one family member with an addiction of sorts. Whether it’s alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, or something else entirely, addictive disorders touch nearly everyone these days. But is addiction genetic?
Scientific research on addicted populations and their families has shown that as much as half of a person’s risk of becoming addicted depends on their unique set of genetics. Having immediate family members, especially parents or siblings, that have problems with addiction, significantly increases your odds for developing a substance abuse problem yourself. But not everyone with the genetic predisposition becomes an addict or alcoholic. There has to be more to the story, right?
Nature Before Nurture?
While genetics certainly plays a strong hand in addiction, it’s not all there is. Research also shows that the environment one is raised in and lives in also plays a large role in propensity to addiction. Lifestyle factors, community influences, access to exercise, social or cultural influences, and familial support can all affect the risk for addiction, and their interaction with genetics is what will ultimately swing the odds for an individual’s risk.
Ultimately, yes- addiction is genetic. But it is also largely influenced by one’s environment. Having addiction in one’s family isn’t a definitive predictor of addiction, but it absolutely increases the risk. Engaging in healthy choices and surrounding yourself with positive social influences can go a long way towards preventing the development of addiction.
Reach Out- Help is Here
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, there is help available. Call the treatment professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment.