There is a link between drug addiction and genetics.
There is mixed evidence as to whether drug addiction is actually predisposed by the genes or not but one thing that is known for sure is that addictive behavior is predisposed. What this means is that although actually being addicted to drugs may not be genetic there are genetic factors that play a role in whether or not a person has what is known as an “addictive personality.”
Why can some people use drugs casually and not become addicted but others use just a few times and the addiction sets in? How much of drug addiction can be imposed on a predisposition that is the result of genetics? Why does addiction strike one person so much differently than it does the next?
Drug Addiction and Genetics
There is evidence that shows as much as 50% of a person’s likelihood to become addicted to a drug is genetically predisposed. What this means is that the genes play a key role in drug addiction but they do not play the only role in determining whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs as a result of recreational or casual drug abuse.
There are thousands of genes that determine everything about an individual from skin, hair and eye color to personality and cognitive ability. Of the 40,000 genes that are expressed in the part of the brain where drugs show their most profound effects many may or may not be directly linked to drug addiction. Geneticists have been researching the similarities and differences between family members who are addicts in hopes of determining those genes which are directly responsible for determining whether or not an individual will become addicted to drugs.
While evidence does suggest that heredity and genetics do play a role in increasing the likelihood of an individual becoming addicted to drugs there are many other factors that come into play as well. While addiction does tend to run in families it is still unclear how much of the disease of addiction is transmitted genetically and how much of the disease is the result of learning addictive behaviors from family or society.
Genetic Predisposition Studies
While there have been many different studies conducted to determine how much genetics do determine drug addiction some of the most profound include studies on twins and studies that have been conducted on adopted children. One study compared the alcoholism rates of both individuals who had been adopted but were born to alcoholic parents and those who were born to non alcoholic parents. Statistics show that those who were born to alcoholic parents, although they never knew their parents and were not raised in alcoholic households were as much as 3 times more likely to become addicted to alcohol themselves.
Another study on the genetic predisposition of drug addiction focused on twins. One study found that identical twins (those who share the same genetic makeup) are up to 200% more likely to suffer from alcoholism than fraternal (not identical) twins. Similar statistics have been found for other types of drug abuse amongst twins including cocaine, stimulants and sedatives.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment centers are one of the most effective ways of recovering from drug abuse for many people. With so many different treatment facilities available, it is difficult to tell which one is best for you. Although most rehabs seem similar on the outside, it is important to….
While increasing rates of substance abuse continue to warrant cause for concern, the increasing rate of alcohol abuse among older adults is one of the fastest growing health problems in the United States. Alcohol abuse carries a range of health risks, both physical and psychological. These risks increase substantially for adults aged 60 and older…..
Cocaine is one of the most addicting street drugs available and has ruined the lives of millions of people. Cocaine addiction ruins lives, it ruins families and it ruins society yet finding cocaine rehab centers is not always easy. Many drug rehab centers do not specialize in treating cocaine addiction and those which do will….
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as a mental illness that “changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug.” Altered thoughts, emotions, and habits are not things that can easily be reversed during the time….
Recovery is “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential”, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Establishing a new “normal” to daily routines, avoiding high-risk situations that could lead to relapse, and staying motivated in….
Alcohol detox is a dangerous condition and should never be undergone alone. Alcohol rehab centers provide individuals with a safe and more comfortable atmosphere to undergo alcohol detox. Although it is intimidating to think about the withdrawal symptoms and various other discomforts that can come as a result of alcohol detox, with the help of….
An individual who suffers from dual diagnosis is considered to have both a substance abuse problem and a psychiatric illness at the same time. Dual diagnosis causes some additional challenges when it comes to treatment for addiction because both the chemical dependency and the mental condition of the individual must be treated in conjunction with….
Many challenges are faced in addiction treatment by both families, loved ones, user’s and treatment professionals. While healing from addiction is up to the addict, many take comfort in knowing that healing is possible with the right means of commitment, support and treatment. If you’re in treatment, know someone in treatment or thinking about treatment,….
Unless you’ve been in a cave since the mid-1980’s, you know that drug use, particularly IV drug use, is correlated with HIV and AIDS. But over the last decade, the immune-deficiency disease hasn’t got the limelight it once did and people may not understand the risks associated with drug use and HIV. HIV/AIDS Basics A….
Drug rehab pricing varies from one rehab center to the next. Many drug rehab centers are by far too expensive for the average individual to pay for, especially once addiction has already set in and the person has hit rock bottom. Depending on the type of drug rehab services that you seek as well as….