Is Drug & Alcohol Addiction a Genetic Disease?

Is Addiction a Genetic Disease

The brain is a muscle, anything you train it to do, you become dependent upon and the repetition develops the need for more of the same thing. This applies to drug and alcohol addiction as well…

What role does family history have on your addiction?

The most noteworthy research states that addiction accounts to 50% genetic predisposition and 50% poor coping skills developed as children. Numerous studies have confirmed this over the years. One study was researched with 600 fraternal twin pairs, and 800 identical twins. One non-identical twin could be addicted to alcohol, but other twin doesn’t always become addicted.

If one of the identical twins was addicted to alcohol, the other twin had a consequently higher chance of being susceptible to addiction to alcohol. The study showed a higher probability that addiction was a genetic consequence.

Are the children of addicts or alcoholics more likely to be one them self?

Another study looked at 200 or so people who were diagnosed with drug & alcohol addiction, and compared them to 61 people who didn’t have addiction. They compared their family history and found that the child of someone with the disease of addiction being 8 times more susceptible of developing addiction themselves.
Is Drug & Alcohol Addiction a Genetic Disease? addiction accounts to 50% genetic predisposition 50% poor coping skills developed as children.

How are the Genes for Addiction Created?

 We’re all exposed to our predecessors genes. They are part of an evolutionary advantage for us. The “fight or flight” instinct dates back to our ancient ancestry when we had to run or fight wild beasts that used to attack us for food. The same instincts apply to us today.

 In the roman era Caesar used to give his troops opiates to manage long walks. During these times water would make people sick and they didn’t know how to purify it, so they drank alcohol instead.  

 The gene pool in our ancestry carried these traits and we became predisposed to the genetic pattern of addiction. The same concept applies to anyone suffering with cancer or any other illness or disease. Many diseases run in our genes.

How Does Repeatedly Abusing Drugs & Alcohol Permanently Restructure Brain Chemistry and Your Genes?

You are still susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction even with no family history of it. The brain is a muscle and if you work it out enough, it becomes accustom to a process. This process often applies to opiate addicts. It counteracts with the brains normal process of the development of dopamine. 

Once you use opiates daily they start sending signals to the brain and these signals tell you have enough dopamine already. Your body will stop producing it naturally. When opiate users come off opiates their brain lacks the need for dopamine production and consequently won’t produce it.

In addition, this same concept applies to coping skills. If you don’t have well developed coping skills; once introduced to the emotional and physical numbing sensation drugs and alcohol give you, using drugs and alcohol eventually becomes habit forming due to the ease and comfort that drugs & alcohol produce. If this process is repetitively used for coping it becomes an addiction.

Finally, many people have overcome these issues and learned a new and more effective way for coping with their feelings. They’ve learned to do this without the use of drugs or alcohol. They have gone on to lead healthier and happier lives because of it.

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