To say that addiction is genetic is a bit of a misnomer that is further convoluted when terms like “addictive personality” and “addiction runs in the family” are used. While it is true that addiction (and the impacts of addiction, financial and otherwise) can be passed down within families from generation to generation, it is actually the risk of addiction that is genetic and not the addiction itself. Put another way, children of addicts will not necessarily become addicts but they are more likely to try drugs and less likely to stop once they start. It is this increased risk for use that can lead to addiction and is worth exploring further.
In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it was found that individuals with relatives that had suffered from addiction to substances were two to three times more likely to have their own problems with addiction. The science behind this genetic predisposition for addiction is directly related to the brain.
According to the American Psychological Association, dopamine receptors in the brain are key in answering questions about addiction. People with fewer dopamine receptors are more likely to become addicted to a substance. Subsequently, studies have shown that the amount of dopamine receptors a person has is genetically predetermined.
Effects of Addicted Parents on Children
Children that grow up with an addicted parent tend to either be watched less to the point of the child feeling abandoned or watched too much to the point of the child acting out against the strict structure, both of which can contribute to generational addiction. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, one of the best ways a parent that is using or is in recovery can prevent their child from following in that path is to be open and honest about their own struggles, know what drugs are “trending” among young people, and monitor the child’s activities.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, monitoring is especially important because children of parents that use drugs are more likely to have behavioral issues, which lead to higher rates of first use. Plus, if their parents are using, they have easier access to the substance. If these children start using, the likelihood increases that they will keep using due to the genetic factors being discussed.
California Addiction Recovery Help
At Asana Recovery, we believe you can break the generational cycle of addiction before it continues or begins at all. With the help of our trained professionals, you will develop the self-confidence and tools to do just that.
The core beliefs of Asana Recovery center on daily actions of teamwork, gratitude, mindfulness, creativity, and stewardship, all of which we focus on while providing you with the highest level of personalized care. Everyone from our chef and personal trainer all the way up to our clinical team leader and operations manager is dedicated and ready to help you start your journey toward recovery. Call us today at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our detox, residential, and outpatient programs. Addiction ends with you.