For years, individuals in the medical field wondered about substance abuse. It is such a problem for so many people, while others don’t have any issue with it. It’s worth considering why that is. If identifying traits of problem drug users can be detected, then it’s easier to predict who might struggle with abuse and addiction.
That leads to the question of whether genetics come into play with substance abuse at all. If you’ve ever undergone substance abuse treatment, you may be curious about the answer to that just as much as a doctor or clinician would be.
We’ll talk about genetics and problematic drug behaviors right now.
What Does Science Say?
Science says that genetics do indeed come into play with problematic drug behaviors to a certain extent. That is why, if you have someone who becomes an alcoholic, there is a much higher chance that you will find other examples of alcoholism in their family.
Genetics seem to determine whether you have a proclivity toward drug abuse, just like they tell whether you’re more inclined to get certain kinds of cancer or other diseases. That is also why a doctor might ask you if you have any alcoholism in your family when they’re talking to you about your health.
Is Genetics the Only Determining Factor?
At this point, you might wonder if genetics is the sole determining factor that goes into whether you become an alcoholic or someone who uses or abuses other recreational drugs. Genetics is considered just one of many factors that go into drug abuse.
If you find out that there’s alcoholism in your family or there are family members who have had problems with other substances, you might expect that you’ll feel that pull more than someone from a different family without that history. You should also understand that you can always resist the pull that comes from your genetics, though.
How and where you’re raised also determines whether you’ll abuse alcohol or other drugs. Who you spend your time with will almost always come into play as well.
How Can You Break the Addiction Cycle?
It’s wrong and irresponsible if you feel that because you have a genetic proclivity toward alcoholism or drug use, you have no choice but to succumb to that behavior. Some people look at their genetic makeup and use it as a convenient excuse for why they act a certain way.
You’re much better off taking responsibility for your actions. If you start drinking or abusing other drugs, then your genetics become useful information, but they’re never the only reason why you behave in that fashion.
You can break the addiction cycle with determination, regardless of whether others in your family have struggled with these same demons. You should never let your genetics become the excuse for unhealthy behaviors that hurt you and potentially all of the people around you as well.
Genetics and drug use have a link, but there’s so much more context that goes into it.