An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Why do some people get addicted and others don't?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by stagsonline, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    Recent studies have shown that the same type of drug can induce significantly different responses in different people depending on their individual genetic characteristics. Some people seem to develop tolerance from drug abuse while others carry genes that enable them have a low risk of alcoholism. What do you think of this?
    monsterific likes this.
  2. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    This is interesting and yes I am sure that different people can be effected in different ways. You might find that one who is at low risk of alcoholism might be a higher risk with liver or kidney failure, drugs can also have a different effect on people but at the end of the day, they are affected in different ways, where someone might easily become addicted and others might be physically more damaged.
  3. mdaudali

    mdaudali Member

    This is very interesting. Although these "benefits" are good in the short term for the drinker or drug user, but I doubt they prevent the effects that come with excessive drinking. I don't know if it's been proven, but it seems quite likely that someone who comes from a line of heavy drinkers will have evolved into carrying this gene that makes them have a low risk of alcoholism.
    stagsonline likes this.
  4. SamClemensMT

    SamClemensMT Member

    I think that this is an interesting phenomenon. Obviously then all men are not created equal when it comes to predisposition to addictive behaviors. Since as you have written there appears to be a genetic basis for this fact; perhaps someday ,with gene therapy, addiction can be eliminated from the list of things that can destroy our human potential.
  5. Lanny

    Lanny Member

    This is a challenging question to answer because we are all individuals and behave in many different ways. I think some people may have low self-esteem or a lack of confidence. They may be shy or anxious in social situations and are likely to turn to alcohol or drugs to overcome these feelings. Someone with little or no self-control or prone to anger is more at risk of developing an addiction. People who are prone to stress or are competitive, driven individuals are also at risk. Generally, the more a person uses drugs, the more he gets addicted.
  6. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    I agree, my dad is addicted to crack cocaine and marijuana. I have never and will never do crack but I have tried weed and cigarettes but never became addicted, in fact I hated them. I however become addicted easily to other substances so once I notice that I am becoming reliant on any one thing, I just try to avoid it as I was told by a doctor that it has a lot to do with my genes.
    monsterific likes this.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Much as there could some way to rationalize why some people get addicted and others can't, there'd be no reason to take unnecessary risks. Much as genetically you may not be [predisposed to be] addicted to some substance, using it over a period of time would quite obviously tear down the protective walls and you'd find yourself an addict to something you thought you wouldn't be addicted to.

    I believe that anyone can be addicted to a drug as long as they use it over a long period of time.
    monsterific likes this.
  8. athena02

    athena02 Member

    Not counting the genetic factors, I think it would be because of the reason they started this behavior to begin with. For example there are people that drink simply for the sake of drinking, to party with friends and have fun. On the other hand, there are those that started drinking to cope with the problems in their lives. As time went on, they associated drinking with feeling better about themselves, to the point where not drinking affects their daily behavior, their self-esteem and how they interact with other people.

    So even if they drink less than the former category, they'll have a harder time stopping. At least that's how I feel about it.
  9. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    This has really made me do some more research and just like you have said, those at low risk of getting addicted are at a much higher risk of getting medical complications especially kidney failure. Their cleansing system seems to work excessively eventually leading to failure.
  10. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    It's true that majority of people get into drugs because of other issues like problems in their lives or through social circles. I think the genetic issue is only prevalent in people whose parents had an alcoholic problem or addiction for a long time.
  11. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    There is yet to be any conclusive medical research about the genetic issue of addiction but there are very interesting studies that have been successfuly done to show that genetic characteristics of alcoholism can be inherited from generation to generation. But, of course not everyone can be affected by this genetic line.
  12. DaniMiranda

    DaniMiranda Member

    I think science and medicine will attempt to explain the reasons as best it can. However, the reasons certain people experience things differently is because of their own life purpose. We can look at our neighbor who may be of the same demographic, similar upbringing another like factors, and they may not have the same behaviors you do, but they react to their environment much differently. I believe that addictions are not learned, they are part of our make up from before our birth. It is just another lesson to combat while we are here.
  13. jade870

    jade870 Active Contributor

    Personally I think it's just a matter of will power, I have personally seen a drug addicted alcoholic bring herself out of it. I believe there are many factors why a person becomes addicted. Some look to drugs and alcohol as a escape route, other people use drugs occasionally and then lose control. As I said before there are many reasons why a person becomes addicted some reasons are unknown. I think some people have a more solid grip on their lives, and all are mostly emotional stable. I personally believe the more willful a, person is the less likely they will become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
    stagsonline likes this.
  14. Lanny

    Lanny Member

    Davienna, I think you are stronger person than your dad. From your story, it's quite obvious that addiction has nothing to do with genes (the doctor was right). You were determine to avoid going down the wrong road, and that's a good cure. Maybe your dad needed someone to help him through the addiction, or maybe he could have tried a support group. I think you should find out why the addiction has such a powerful hold on your dad. It will give you a better understanding of where to start.
  15. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    I think it has really something to do with genetic predisposition. Like in my family, my dad, most of my uncles and male cousins drink especially on family reunions to the point of getting drunk. Females in our family also did in our younger years, though rarely at family gatherings and more often with friends. By often I mean, twice a month or once whenever we went out with friends.

    But I think it can also be a pattern because we saw our older folks having a go at it and enjoying their time. So the younger generations followed suit. I don't remember though seeing my mom and aunties drinking but once or a couple of times only. And as I've said the females in our family did just that.
    MrsJones likes this.
  16. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    I know of many people that can drink with no limits but they have had many complications with health later on. It is sad for anyone to think that you can continue on with alcohol or drugs and have no effect on your system. If it doesn't get you hooked, then it will get you from the inside and there is no healthy way to do any of it. You become a user or an alcoholic, you will suffer in some way, no exceptions!!
  17. dinomarino1

    dinomarino1 Member

    i have never really known myself, i had a close friend of mine go to rehab for heroin for a month or two. it just got me to thinking, "what makes some one want to do it"? its a tough question. some people are naturally capable of fighting off their urges to keep devouring in their addiction. others cannot, it could be a plethora of factors
  18. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    He went to rehab twice my dear and the family tried to help him a hundred times more. He has grown past even admitting his addiction. He is just living a carefree life, I really don't know what it is with him anymore.
  19. I have also heard that there are some genetic issues that make people more likely to get addicted. I have seen some people get addicted because they were trying to drown their sorrows/pain, therefore, I also think addiction is a mental thing. Young people are very curious about alcohol and drugs and tend to try out everything under the sun when their friends tell it won't affect them. In time, they discover they just can't do without their drug.
  20. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    I think their lifestyle has a great impact on this. And their childhood experiences matter a lot. Though will is necessary, there isn't much it can do. People with great experiences usually live happy, fruitful lives. Others on the other hand, don't!