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Is Addiction Genetic?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by Rainman, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. jdroc

    jdroc Active Contributor

    Well in my own experience, they could say its genetic because of my dad. However, I've done everything under the sun except for stuff like heroin or cocaine. I've never been addicted to anything. My dad abused liquor, I went through a phase when I would binge drink on the weekends but it never turned into addiction. More so because I was younger and immature. I do think mental toughness plays a part. I do also think being able to understand your past and not letting it burden the present plays a part. Difficult to assess though, either way you look at it.
  2. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    I am somewhat uncertain but being that my father is addicted to cocaine and has been even before I was born, I think it may have some impact. That is however not an excuse for me, I guess the genes in some persons are stronger. I remember when I was younger that I had always wanted to know what cocaine tasted like and if I had access to it most likely I would've sniffed it and become addicted. My older sister as well had a similar experiences as my mother was once called to her high school by the principal as she confided in him, telling about her urge to start taking drugs. Thankfully we are both grown and has not reverted to anything of such.
  3. sarahxalex

    sarahxalex Member

    Honestly, in my opinion I think addiction is more about environment. If you surround yourself with people who constantly smoke and drink you are naturally going to be pressured into it. I do think it can be genetic as well but I believe that it is more environmental. Even kids who grow up around it have a 50/50 chance of having an addiction or not having one. You can fight it, it may be hard but it is possible. All you need is a support system and drive to want to be helped. A lot of people will always say it is genetic but I think that plays a small role when it comes to addiction.
  4. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I don't think your genes are going to doom you to addiction, but I think some people's bodies are more prone to developing a chemical dependency or addiction, than others. If alcoholism seems to run in your family, it is probably a good idea to stay away from it because you may be at a higher risk than the average person, but that does not mean you are doomed to an addiction and there's nothing you can do about it.
  5. wowtgp

    wowtgp Member

    It's difficult to say if it genetic or not unlike some desieses that are genetic. My father is a tobacco addict, but I have never felt the urge to smoke or chew tobacco at all.
  6. diecarmona

    diecarmona Member

    Well, it is proven by multiple studies that genetics IS a factor. But I think the important think is knowing that the most important factor is will strenght. You can overcome any genetic predisposition to addiction with just a little bit of willpower and the right attitude.

    I'm only saying this because this argument is usually said when you think that addiction is a choiceless ailment. It isn't. Many people have succesfully quit before, and many more will. I think it's important to know your own mind's power over you. Even the most excruciatingly painful physical addiction can be bypassed with enough dedication.
  7. bluekknd2

    bluekknd2 Member

    Overcoming genetics or your environment. Neither is easy. I do believe some people get dealt a bad hand when it comes to addiction.
  8. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I do not think it is genetic, as research can take time to prove if it is correct or needs more time to understand if it affects alcohol addiction The environment we live in plays a factor in our life, and people we are around if they are moderate drinkers we will not be addicted to alcohol as we have people who are positive. Drinking until you drop is not good for your health and family as, that is all you will care about and nothing else. It comes down to how you choose to live, and think seeing others drink till they drop has made me drink in moderation and be aware of my surrounding when drinking.
  9. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I think it is both genetics and environment, and not necessarily the family environment--it can be friends. I read a study that said if a woman is an alcoholic then her male children will have a much greater chance of becoming alcoholics. This proved true in my family as my grandmother had ten kids, the five girls did not drink at all and the five boys all became alcoholics and drug addicts. My own mother is so susceptible that Ny Quil will knock her out from the smell--but she never drank.

    Of my four siblings, only one of us was an addict. We never saw addicts in our lives, my mother kept us away from her brothers. However, my sister's friends influenced her. But she was a strong personality. I think she found friends who wanted to do what she did, it was not peer pressure. If she did not want to do something she did not do it.
  10. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    There are studies that say you may have a predisposition to addiction if your ancestors had an addiction and there are studies that don't agree with this. However, you will find that many addicts had parents that were addicts too, but some did not.
  11. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Addiction is hereditary, that is something that is already proven and I know some cases in which the parents were addicted and the kids as well.
  12. DaniMiranda

    DaniMiranda Member

    I believe it is genetic. Addiction is a chemical trait that is within our human make-up. Although it can be perceived as something that is learned, I feel that the underlying reasons a person can become an addict is passed down through family ties. Usually addicts suffer from mental health issues or have physical disabilities which are leading causes of drug abuse.
    Peninha likes this.
  13. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Yes, it has proven that is has a genetic connection, good post there Dani, I don't know the specific details how it happens, but it's a fact.
  14. Lanny

    Lanny Member

    Some people think that addiction may be inherited. There's a recognition that addiction is just too complicated to be contained within a simple inherited process. Even if a number of genes are found to influence addiction, would the same genes cause alcoholism and drug addiction? What about smoking? Would the same genes also cause compulsive gambling and overeating?
  15. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Haha! I like this analogy. My understanding of alcohol and genetics is similar. Although I'd say some have more gasoline on them than others. :)

    Oh and also, our environment plays a factor too. For some of us, we learn not so good coping mechanisms from our parents so some are more likely to turn to substances more than others.
    Jen S. likes this.
  16. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Excellent point there. I would probably be dead right now had I not been fortunate in the environmental department. My dad is awesome, my mom was a superhero. :)
    Nick W. likes this.
  17. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I totally agree with environment playing a big part in what we do, but I also think that who we are as people, our personalities, and the choices we've learned to make, all play a part as well. To think that it's only one aspect is limiting and probably a little bit like passing the buck.
  18. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    In my own opinion, I think that addiction is not genetic.
    My grandfather drink just one small bottle of beer mostly daily just before going to sleep and I do not think that is addiction. One of his sons had become an alcoholic and I think that was mainly because of his friends influence.
    While only our grandmother used to smoke and I have not met a relative yet that also smoke.
  19. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Good point. I remember a friend telling me something like "It may be your parents fault for being the way you are, but it is your fault for staying that way". Just to clarify, she wasn't saying it to anyone in particular, she just heard that from someone else and thought there was some truth to it. So yes, we do learn stuff from our environment, but we should still be held accountable for our own choices. We are not puppets after all.
  20. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    Yes I do believe it is addictive but it is just my personal experience, I have not done any research on this subject yet but my whole family were addicted to alcohol and so was I. I do however believe that one can choose to not do some drugs even though his whole family were addicted to it.