Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Genetic Predisposition to Drug Addiction

There is a link between drug addiction and genetics.

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.

More Rehab Centers Resources

Do Rehab Centers Treat Co-Occurring Disorders?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction rates are increasing. This coincides with a rise in mental and emotional illness. Most people who seek treatment for addiction do so by going to a rehab center. Rehab centers can treat both addiction and co-occurring disorders. What are Co-Occurring Disorders? Co-occurring disorders are disorders that….

Continue reading

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rehab Center

Let us help you choose a rehab center!

The decision to attend a rehab center for treatment of drug or alcohol addiction may be the most important decision you ever make. Of course you want to assure that you make the best decision and that you choose the best rehab center for you, but how do you do that? What factors should be….

Continue reading

Do I Need Aftercare?

Whether or not a patient is in need of aftercare depends strongly on their state of recovery when their treatment program at a rehab center ends. However, there are many different types of aftercare available, and attending another type of treatment after one’s time in a rehab center is over is often helpful. What Options….

Continue reading

Why Residential Drug Rehab Programs Work

Let us help you find a residential drug rehab program!

Finding the best drug treatment program for an addict is like finding a needle in a haystack. There’s thousands of drug rehab programs both residential and outpatient but how do you choose the best one? Residential drug rehab programs are designed with the addict’s comfort in mind but each one is very different from the….

Continue reading

Drug Addiction and Veterans: What You Should Know

Being in the military is no easy task. The men and women who enlist do so freely and put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. But more than that, these men and women often bring home more than just battle scars. Too many of the nation’s veterans are coming home….

Continue reading

Finding Alcohol Rehab for a Loved One

alcohol addiction help

Once a loved one decides to get help for a drinking problem, having an alcohol rehab program ready to accept him or her can help ensure he or she follows through on the decision. Equally important is finding an alcohol rehab program that can best meet your loved one’s treatment needs. Alcoholism has been around….

Continue reading

5 Things to Do Before Going to Drug Rehab

rehab prep

The decisions you make in life will always have an impact on what happens next and when you decide to change your life for the better, you want to make the most out of those changes. Whether you have chosen the drug rehab for where you plan to go or not, there are some things….

Continue reading

Finding Drug Addiction Support After Rehab

addiction aftercare

Addiction is a lifelong illness. Many people go through recovery and seem fine but when they leave the program, they quickly relapse. This leaves them right back where they started. Up until recently, there were very few options for help after rehab. Rehab only teaches people the skills they need to live without the addiction,….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This