Addiction is a complex disease. It can be genetic like other different diseases. There is 50 percent chance that someone can get into substance addiction by genetic influence.
Genetic factors play an important role in addiction. Numerous studies suggest that heritability accounts for about 40% to 60% of the risk for alcohol and other drug addiction (opiates and cocaine). Several genetic linkages and association studies are in progress to figure out the specific genes that constitute this risk.
Let’s take a look at the possibilities how genetics and addiction are interrelated.
Addiction circulate in a family
Addiction runs in families because of its heredity. A genetic structure exhibits all traits of a human. Our physical and behavioral characteristics are governed by our DNA. Our parents pass on to us their behavioral and physical traits through genes. Disposition towards substance abuse and addiction is one important trait among different behavioral traits parents can pass on to their children. If your family has a history of any substance addiction, then you have higher chances that you can become addicted to any drug (opioids, marijuana or cocaine). You can be at risk for cross addiction because all addictions work in the same part of the brain. If you’re predisposed to one addiction, then you’re inclined to all other addictions.
How addiction genes contribute to substance abuse
A gene contributes to addiction exposure in many ways. The possibility to get into any addiction is hardwired into our brain genetically. Everybody has the ability for addiction; it all depends on our strong coping power. Some people are less predisposed to addiction while some are more. The exposure to addiction is complex; multiple genes are responsible for this trait. Two persons suffering from the same addiction are likely to have genetic variability. If you have that variability in your genes, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get into multiple substance addiction. Some environmental factors play a role in protecting you from developing addiction and abusing substances. It is difficult to find addiction genes because addiction is a complex trait with the variability in genes. Sometimes addiction genes produce a relatively small effect and therefore, it is difficult to detect them.
Let your coping skills pass on to your children rather than a predisposition to addiction
Your children are more prone to the risk of having an addiction because of your addiction. Don’t let your genes be the only legacy that circulates in your family. Don’t make their genes become their destiny. Help your children to lead a happy life and teach them useful coping skills. Be an example to them by being effectively recovered from the addiction. According to a research, the 50% of addiction is caused by weak coping skills; that is where you can make a difference. There are lots of people who have managed to overcome their heredity addiction. You can also change your life and live happily by using healthy coping skills.