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Is Addiction Genetic?

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

  1. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I haven't researched as well, but I know a personal case in which the dad of my GF was a drug addicted, she never grew up with him, but ended up addict as well...
  2. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    Yes, I feel it is genetic to a certain extent. We do get many of our traits from our parents. I also feel we are a product of our environment. So if the child is also exposed to a parent that is an addict then they will feel this is normal and something they should try. Many times we end up traveling down the same road as our parents unless we work at doing things different then they did.
  3. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That is true and it's something amazing, how do we follow the same path of our parents if sometimes we didn't even grow up with them? It's something odd, but we should be alerted to it.
  4. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    While it has been proven that those who have family members who fell to alcohol and substance dependence are more likely to experience it themselves -- doesnt mean that you can use this as a flat- out excuse. You are responsible for your own actions
  5. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    True, we are always responsible for our actions, no question there, but at the same time what are the mechanisms that make hereditary heritage make us consume more?
  6. TXgirlNCworld

    TXgirlNCworld Member

    A lot of talk is on this topic whether or not addiction is embedded into our genes and I believe 100% it is. I think that though we may not have a destructive addiction, we still have minor addictions. Like though my father is an alcoholic, I have a serious addiction to sunflower seeds. No joke! I think the gene is passed down, some people my have a gym addiction or weight loss addiction, or food addiction. Just because it is not a substance does not make it less of a matter. I think addiction is something you will see in our family lines and it is kind of scary.
  7. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    I believe to some degree it is.
  8. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    LOL wulfman, my experience has shown me the same, but the why remains something mysterious, is like our parents print something in our genes that make us act similar to them.
  9. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I personally don't view addiction as genetic but rather it's borne out of the current environment. If that were the case,then the level of drugs abuse would be catastrophic worldwide given that the gene could be shared by many people.
  10. proldani

    proldani Member

    While many old and recent studies show evidence about the origin of addictions, we should also consider the fact that many of our personality traits and habits were born out of the direct influence of our environment/family. It's very hard for a child who was born in an alcoholic home to break the habit, even if we as humans are free to choose our destiny.
  11. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Is saying it's genetics a way of not taking personal responsibility?

    I'm not saying it is. I'm asking a question. Is it easy to pass addiction, and other things, off on genetics, as a way of avoiding accepting responsibility for your own decisions?

    I personally feel that genetics plays a factor, but can't put a bottle, or pipe, or needle, in your hands. I think that their almost certainly has to be balance.
  12. I am sure that there is no definitive answer to this question. There are so many behaviors that people adapt from watching people perform bad habits, yet there are some things that seem to be innately instinctive. People are different, and blaming the DNA of the parents is a scapegoat that needs to be address. It is important for an addict to take responsibility for their own addiction.
  13. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    I do think it can be genetic. Addiction is relative to your brain function and how it reacts to stuff it likes and what makes it feel good. Your brain function is passed from generation to generation, as such, if your parents have a propensity for addiction, then you probably will too. However, genetics cannot be blamed entirely. If you know you are more likely to get addicted, then stay away in the first place.
  14. jubjubb

    jubjubb Member

    From EVERYTHING that I have ever heard in treatment and from other people, yes. Science has shown that certain genes are partly responsible for causing addiction. Doesn't mean they solely cause it though.
  15. bigbrain50

    bigbrain50 Member

    Well just because something is genetic doesn't make it an hard and fast rule that it will affect you that much, just like a family history of heart disease and cancer doesn't automatically mean you will develop either of these diseases, it just raises your risk factors, and you just have to put out more of an effort in order to prevent them, whether in your diet; more exercise, staying away from certain foods or certain substances... things like that.
  16. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I believe it is genetic. If drug addicted mothers can pass their addiction to drug babies, then yes, why can't they pass it on genetically as well.

    After constant contact of certain stimuli, humans will hold that condition and quite possibly pass it on to the next generation. It is a evolutionary trait that we hand to to the next generation.
  17. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Issues with addiction can be 'genetic' I suppose but no one can wholly blame their addiction on family genes - yes if they are exposed to an environment of addiction you are more likely to fall into it -but there is an element of free will and choice as well - everyone is responsible for their own actions.
  18. leahcim132

    leahcim132 Member

    I believe some addictions are genetics, and some are not. Obviously everyone is unique. However, we can always overcome anything including any addiction. If we set our mind to stop the addiction, genetics can't stop us. Again, depends on the person and how strong he is mentally.
  19. MissManda

    MissManda Member

    I think that an addictive personality can be a genetic trait that gets passed on. My mother has it, and I am aware of the fact that I have it too. That doesn't mean that I am unable to stop myself from being addicted to drugs, but it is just something I am aware of and if I don't watch myself I could easily become dependent on something as minor as Tylenol. I don't think that just because you're exposed to an environment of addiction you are more likely to succumb to it.
    Those who are exposed to addiction early on may end up being more knowledgeable on how difficult it is to get over an addiciton. You can hope that this makes them stronger to resist the urge to use substances.
  20. CpXi7z1

    CpXi7z1 Member

    I admit I'm no expert, and most behaviors and attitudes are based on both genetics and environment, but I'm of the opinion addiction is learned. If an addict searches his or her family tree, there's a good chance there are many addictions through the generations--not just drugs and alcohol. Why someone would want to mimic an addict's behavior, I do not know, but some children who grow up watching a parent or sibling's struggle with addiction follow a similar path. Some people, instead of coping with the pain of trauma, abuse, loss, or mental illness, bury their troubles in addictive behavior.