Addiction is a serious problem that can impact anyone. However, there are some people who are more likely to develop an addiction than others. There are many factors that play a role in the development of substance use disorder and addictions, but an important variable is a genetic predisposition. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse issues, there are steps you can take to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
What Is the Difference Between Genetics and Heredity?
Two of the most common terms you will hear used when people discuss the issue of addiction predisposition is genetics versus heredity. Even though they are similar, they are not the same. Everybody has genes, and these genes dictate what we do and how we behave. Half of your genes come from your biological mother’s side, and half of them come from your biological father’s side.
Heredity refers to the way traits, characteristics, and specific genes are passed down from parents to their offspring using DNA. For example, your eye color and hair color are traits that are considered hereditary.
There is a chance that you may have certain genes passed down from your parents that make it more likely for you to develop an addiction issue, but this does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed to develop one. Your genes interact with the external environment, and this interaction can play a role in potential health concerns you might develop during the course of your life.
Does a Family History of Addiction Make it More Likely for Someone To Develop Substance Use Disorder?
If you have an immediate family member who has suffered from addiction issues, does that mean you are more likely to develop substance use disorder? The answer is that it depends. Remember that your genetics are only one part of this process, and your external environment may play a role as well.
Furthermore, keep in mind that you only have half of your genes from your maternal side, with the other half coming from your paternal side. Therefore, there is a chance that you may not have inherited genes from your parents that make it more likely for you to develop substance use disorder. Instead of believing that you are destined to develop an addiction issue, it is important to be aware of other factors that could predispose you to the development of substance abuse issues.
What Other Factors Play a Role in the Development of Addiction?
There are lots of other factors that could play a role in the development of substance abuse concerns. Some of the biggest examples include:
People with a history of trauma may be more likely to develop substance abuse issues. For example, people who were abused or neglected as children, and did not receive the resources necessary to address their experiences, may struggle with mental health issues and turn to substance use for help coping. Additionally, people with past trauma might have issues with social skills, emotional regulation, and decision-making, which could also lead to the development of substance abuse concerns.
Childhood experiences can also play a role in the development of substance abuse issues. For example, if a parent used substances, their child might have been exposed to them at an early age, and substance use became a normal part of their life. In addition, if a child is struggling with mental health and they don’t have a support system, they might be more likely to engage in behavior to help them cope with their feelings, like abusing substances. Furthermore, parental rejection, a lack of emotional warmth, and other adverse childhood experiences can also lead to the development of substance abuse issues.
People can also be exposed to factors outside the home that could make it more likely for them to develop substance abuse issues. For example, they may live in an area where there is easy access to illegal or illicit substances.
A History of Other Mental Health Issues
Finally, people with a history of other mental health issues might be more likely to develop substance abuse issues as well. This is typically called a dual diagnosis. If someone does not have a counselor to help them address their mental health issues, they might be more likely to develop substance abuse problems as a result. Everyone deserves to have access to reliable mental health treatment that can address not only substance abuse issues but other mental health concerns as well.
Seek Help From MATClinics for the Treatment of Substance Abuse Issues
If you or someone you know needs help recovering from addiction, you need to rely on an expert who can help you. We provide you with access to medication-assisted treatment that can address different types of substance abuse concerns. We have an unparalleled level of experience in this area, and it would be our pleasure to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.