Genes also account for 60 percent of the tendency to become addicted and 54 percent of the ability to quit smoking. Because not all smokers are the same, it is possible to look at genetic factors to determine the best way to quit smoking. Many people, especially those with a family history of addiction, are curious to know what factors play a role in addiction. Is addiction genetic? It's true that some people may have a genetic predisposition to addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), a medical condition defined by uncontrollable substance use despite negative consequences.
However, having a genetic predisposition does not mean that these people are guaranteed to develop an addiction. Genetics is just one part of the many factors that can affect your overall risk. Even if you or a family member is struggling with addiction, hereditary factors are not a life sentence, and you can get help to regain control of your life and start the path of recovery. Scientists will never find a single genetic change that causes addiction.
Like most diseases, substance use disorder is a complex trait. It is influenced by variations in several genes, as well as environmental factors. Yes, there may be a genetic predisposition to substance abuse. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) states that “at least half of a person's susceptibility to drug or alcohol addiction may be related to genetic factors.
Our genetics define us in many ways. While they don't determine everything, decades of research have shown that people with addiction in their families are more likely to become addicts. In addition, those with a genetic predisposition to addiction who also face environmental factors, such as poverty, and developmental factors, such as being close to drugs and alcohol at a young age, are much more likely to become addicted than those who do not experience these factors (or who only experience one of them). Hereditary and genetic factors account for about 50-75% of the causes of substance abuse and addiction.
If a person has certain genes or hereditary influences, they are more likely to exhibit addictive behaviors. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is currently supporting a major research effort to identify genetic variations that make a person vulnerable to drug addiction. Over the past decade, the prevalence of opioid addiction has increased to epidemic levels, but unfortunately therapeutic interventions for the treatment of addiction remain limited. The Role of Temperament, Metabolism, and Development Make Inheritance of Addiction a Complex Affair.
Other ways to prevent addiction include staying aware of your mental health, practicing self-care, and staying physically active. The ongoing study of genetic factors in drug addiction can provide new ways of understanding the disease of drug addiction and can lead to new therapies to prevent and treat it. Severe stress in the first few years of life is known to dramatically increase the risk of addiction, and the risk increases with greater exposure to trauma. Once you begin to understand your genetics and how they play a role in addiction and recovery, your ability to avoid substance abuse and live your life will begin to become easier.
There is a misconception about addiction that causes many of the stigmas that addicted people have to fight on a daily basis. What this means is that, even if you have a family history of addiction, you are not necessarily guaranteed to develop an addiction. Many people think that a person's tendency to become addicted is simply associated with willpower, rather than the many risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to the problem. One of the key questions that researchers in the field of neuropsychiatry are trying to answer is why some people are more vulnerable to addiction.
We need to better understand the triggers of addiction development in order to develop more specific prevention and treatments. Learning more about the genetic, epigenetic and neurobiological basis of addiction will eventually advance the science of addiction. I have had several losses without being active when I should have been, but it never led to addiction. .