Does Our Genetic Makeup Determine Addiction?


We as individuals like to believe that every aspect of our lives is the result of our own choices. We decide who we want to be, as well as who and what we don’t want to be. However, what if you found out that a good portion of your life’s decisions may have been predictable based on your genetic makeup? Scientists are determining that there are certain genetic factors that can influence everything from whether or not you’ll become a dancer or have back trouble to potentially predicting one’s likelihood to suffer from drug and alcohol addiction.

Genetic Factors Signaling Addiction?

According to an infographic on the subject, genes can play a huge role in whether or not someone may find themselves dealing with the negative consequences of alcoholism. Apparently, anywhere from forty to sixty percent of the addiction could be caused by pre-existing genetic traits.

Drugs And The Genetic Code

Drugs And The Genetic Code

At the same time, the infographic says that there are eighty-nine different genes that are linked to drug abuse and dependency. Of that number, twenty-one are blamed for forming the sort of links that actually trigger full blown addictive-behaviors.

This is very serious. It actually seems to suggest that for some individuals, there was never a question of whether or not they would eventually find themselves overwhelmed by drugs and/or alcohol.

Best Not To Rule Out Environment

The same infographic suggests that the environment one grows up and lives in has just as much an effect on their habits as their genes. For instance, the fact that fifty percent of all children live with a parent who abuses drugs. That is a large percentage of the underage population. It therefore stands to reason that with so many children being exposed to drug abuse, the number of those impacted by their environment would also be high.

This seems to be the unfortunate case according to the information in the graphic. Children who grow up in households exposed to drug abuse are eight times more likely than other children to grow up to abuse drugs themselves. They are two to three times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol depending on what they observe their parents doing.

It makes one wonder: could it be that those who experience addiction inherited certain traits or is it a predictable result of being exposed to drugs and alcohol constantly?

Either Answer Leads To The Same Place

Whether a person is struggling with an addiction due to genetic factors or their environment, it would seem irrelevant. Since ultimately, what the question now is how one overcomes that very addiction. Here there is a silver lining.

You may not have had a choice regarding your genetics or your parents. You may feel that where you are in terms of drugs and alcohol abuse was chosen for you, but this isn’t true. Your life is your own. Whatever choices you make are still your choices. So if you choose to recognize that you are in need of someone to listen to you and someone to help you be rid of addiction, that is within your power to make happen.

It’s common to hear that we are the product of our environment. Or that we are pre-destined to play out the lives of our mothers and fathers before us. But we are ultimately the product of our individual decisions. Though we may be influenced by genetics and how we grew up, it is still up to us to make the best decisions we can for our own health and happiness.

Addiction, however it comes into your life, does not alleviate you of that choice, thankfully. This means you get to choose to tell someone about your problems with drugs or alcohol. It also means you get to decide that it’s something you are ready to overcome.

Source: 12 Keys Rehab

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