Genetics’ Role in Substance Abuse
When parents think about the traits that they may pass on to their children, the first few things that may come to mind may be the mother’s eyes or the father’s smile. However, if someone in your family has struggled with substance abuse in the past, you may be wondering if you will be predisposed to the same struggle.
Since genetics can play a role (to some extent) in the likelihood that you may struggle with drugs or alcohol addiction, it’s important to understand how prevalent that role is and what you can do to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Do Genetics Determine Future Addiction?
Unfortunately, the answer here is not black and white. There are several factors to consider, such as:
Addiction is Partially Due to Genetic Predisposition
Certain studies have concluded that addiction can be heavily influenced by genetics and heritability. While the likelihood of you developing a substance abuse problem can also be due to environmental factors and lifestyle choices, addiction can alter a loved one’s genes — which can be passed down and put a new generation at a higher risk for developing substance abuse.
Children Are More Likely to Develop Addiction
Since parents pass on genes directly to their children, studies have shown that these children of adults with former substance abuse problems have a risk of developing an addiction that is eight times higher than that of children with non-addicted parents.
Additionally, this can be due to children growing up and seeing addictive tendencies and behaviors from their parents, making them more likely to perform the same behaviors.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
Although addiction can be partially influenced by genetics, there are several ways to ensure you maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Learn Your Family History
Speak to your parents and grandparents about your family history. By being aware of any past cases that may make you more predisposed to addiction, you can take measures to maintain a healthier lifestyle and avoid addictive tendencies.
Learn Coping Mechanisms Early
If you do discover that your family has a history of substance addiction, learn some coping mechanisms early on so you can spot any addictive behaviors as soon as possible and address them head-on.
Addressing Young Addiction in Pennsylvania
If you do find yourself struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, remember that you’re not alone in your struggle. Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life, and there is always hope of recovery.
Contact us online today or call (724) 268-4858 to speak to one of our intake specialists.