When it comes to finding conclusive answers for issues concerning the brain, we are still just cracking the surface. While many people believe that addiction runs in families, it’s not always the case that a child born to an addict will grow up to be an addict. But what about those people who do become addicts? Do they all bear some genetic predisposition? In other words, is addiction hereditary?
First, let’s consider the definition of addiction as defined by the National Institute for Drug Abuse: addiction is a “chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness.”
Is Addiction Hereditary?
According to a 2014 ABC News report, which interviewed nationally-recognized addiction expert Akikur Mohamad, MD, genes can be understood to make up 50% of the risk attributed to a person’s likelihood of becoming an addict.
Only contributing to half of a person’s risk, it would be difficult to ascertain any conclusions based solely on genetics. According to Akikur, nurture equivocally plays a surprising role in a person’s predisposition to becoming an addict. The type of environment a person grows up in can trigger a genetic component to essentially turn on. In other words, the same person growing up in two different environments could lead to different outcomes depending on the particular circumstances.
It’s important to understand that just because you have alcoholism or addiction in your family does not mean your life will necessarily fall in a similar pattern. Even if both of your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents all suffer from addiction—you have the power to write your own story.
Treatment for Mental Illness
While not always the case, mental illness, and chemical dependency often run in tandem. Regardless of which came first, diagnosing and treating all underlying conditions has been observed as one of the best routes toward long-term recovery.
Finding a treatment center capable of dual diagnosis treatment can offer many advantages in ensuring that you or a family member receives the best chance at a total recovery. Adequate treatment goes beyond just quitting a substance. If treatment professionals don’t address the root cause of the problem, then it will increase relapse potential.
In addition to offering dual diagnosis treatment, First Step Center of sunny Arizona also specializes in dual diagnosis treatment and trauma informed care. With a small clientele base, First Step Center’s all-male residential treatment facility can create custom treatment plans for each client in order to meet individual needs.
First Step Center also offers:
So, is addiction hereditary? As it stands now, the answer is both yes and no. Regardless, addiction need not be a life sentence. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. First Step Center has a commitment to your total recovery. We’re also ready to help you learn the skills you need to take back your life and start living again. To find out more about our family therapy program or addiction treatment, call us now at 866.832.6398.