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Addiction Myths and Lies

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About Genetics and Addiction

There’s no doubt that a person’s genetic makeup plays a vital role in addiction. However, genes are not the only factor. And, just because a person might be susceptible to an addiction, this does not mean that addiction is inevitable for that person. If a person does develop an addiction, the best course of action if they want help is to seek drug and alcohol treatment in Huntington Beach, CA.

Scientists look for addiction genes. That is genes’ biological differences that make a person vulnerable to addiction. Different genes can cause a person to have different reactions. For example, certain genes may make a person react negatively to a substance while another person enjoys the feeling they get from the same substance. Other individuals may have genes that make them have a more difficult time when they go through withdrawal. Genetics may also play a part in factors that make it difficult for individuals to become addicted.

Environmental Influences

Neuroscientists claim that a person’s risk of developing an addiction is about half genetics and half environmental. For example, studies have shown that the earlier a person starts using alcohol, the more chance they have of becoming addicted. Therefore, it only makes sense that a child raised in an environment where alcohol and drugs are readily available are more susceptible to addiction. A child who is raised in a loving and supportive environment, however, has a much lower chance of becoming addicted later in life. A recent study showed that teens who received little or no involved parenting or support were three times more likely to develop an addiction. Adoptees who have a biological parent with addiction can completely override their risk for developing an addiction if they are raised in a supportive environment.

Risk Factors

Although anybody of any age, background or social status can develop an addiction, there are certain risk factors that make certain individuals more susceptible.

  • Genetics plays a vital role as previously mentioned. If you have a close relative who suffers from addiction, then you have a greater chance of developing an addiction yourself.
  • If a person has a blood relative who suffers from alcohol addiction, their chances of developing the same addiction are six times greater than an individual who doesn’t have alcoholics in the family.
  • Gender also plays a part in addiction. Males are more likely to become addicted to a substance than females.
  • Individuals who suffer from psychiatric disorders have a higher chance of developing an addiction to drugs, nicotine or alcohol.
  • Because the desire to fit in and conform to what others are doing is so strong, especially for young people, peer pressure can play a role in addiction.
  • Young people who do not have close family attachments, particularly to their parents, have more of a chance of developing an addiction later in life compared to those who have deep family attachments.
  • Loneliness can lead to addiction. When one feels alone, they may use substances as a way of coping.
  • If a person begins using drugs or alcohol at an early age, they are more susceptible to becoming addicted. The earlier one starts using, the higher their chances are that addiction will result.
  • Stress plays a role in becoming addicted. A person who is stressed may use substances, such as alcohol to numb their distress. Certain stress hormones are linked to alcoholism.

Although genetics and environment have a heavy influence on the development of an addiction, it doesn’t have to seal a person’s fate. A person who wants help should seek drug and alcohol treatment in Huntington Beach, CA.

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