Did you know that substance abuse disorder (SUD) might be written in your DNA. According to the Cleveland Clinic, genetics can make you 50% more prone to addiction to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, such as opioids and cocaine. At Americas Rehab Campus, we focus on both the causes and effects of addiction so that we can treat the whole person.
If you’ve been touched by addiction, we invite you to reach out to our staff to discuss options for you or your loved one. So far, no one has found a specific gene linked to addiction. However, studies indicate that genetics play a major role in whether you are prone to alcohol and drug addiction.
Understanding Drug Addiction and Genetics
Chromosomes are made-up of genes, and genes are comprised of DNA sequences that determine your genetic makeup. This process provides a road map for the development of certain traits. Everyone has thousands of genes that influence behavior and physical characteristics. That includes vulnerability to substance abuse.
As such, children of those addicted to alcohol or drugs are much more likely to succumb to either of these addictions. Environmental factors also play a huge role, as well as personal decisions. However, it’s important to note that having parents with substance use disorders greatly increases your likelihood to develop them.
At the same time, it’s important not to place too much emphasis on the genetic factors that affect full-blown addiction. During your stay at America’s Rehab Campus, this information is just part of a program that builds awareness and gives you the tools needed to fight cravings and avoid relapse. The type of drug you use, for example, also plays a huge role in the likelihood of addiction.
Can You Inherit Drug Addiction?
A hereditary predisposition certainly makes you more likely to develop a substance use disorder if you experiment with drugs or alcohol. In fact, research suggests specific drugs have higher heritability rates. So, if you try hallucinogens, you have a two in five chance of becoming addicted based on hereditary. However, addiction to cocaine has the highest heritability at 72%.
These drugs also have high rates of addiction based on genetics:
Other Factors of Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, genetics are just one factor when it comes to drug addiction. Your environment also has a huge impact on whether you turn to drugs and alcohol for self-medication or entertainment value. Even identical twins with the same genetic makeup have unique susceptibility to addiction.
So, what else influences your likelihood of becoming addicted to illicit substances? Here are a few contributing factors that can influence the chance you’ll develop an addiction:
- Inability to handle problems well
- Childhood abuse
- Poor support at home
- Mental health concerns
Ways To Prevent Drug Addiction and Relapse
You don’t have to let family history define you and there are ways that you can prevent a relapse. You and your family can break the cycle of addiction by following these tips:
- Learn more about your family’s addiction history.
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of addiction.
- Avoid alcohol and drug use altogether.
- Work on your coping skills.
- Create a support system, start to get home if possible.
- Attend a recovery program and follow aftercare advice.
Genetics play a huge role in determining your vulnerability to addiction. However, you and your loved ones can develop a warm and inclusive environment that makes addiction less likely. To maximize your time in recovery, it’s important to find a center that focuses on individual treatment and includes evidence-based and holistic approaches to healing.
Contact America’s Rehab Campus to find out more about how to enroll in a drug or alcohol treatment program today.