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Is Addiction Genetic?

Though most of us know what addiction is, many still don’t know how pervasive addiction is, that it is a disease, or for those that suffer from addiction that it is a lifelong struggle. This leads many of us to question the nature of addiction and ask questions like “how does someone become addicted?” “Can you be predisposed to becoming addicted?” Even the question “is addiction genetic?” The truth is, there are many factors that go into whether or not a person will become addicted, and to truly understand how addiction works and how to get you or your loved one the help they need with an addiction, it helps to understand the many different facets of addiction. 

At Hillside Mission Recovery, we understand the scope of addiction, that addiction is a disease, and that for anyone suffering, it is a lifelong battle. To help our clients and their loved ones, we want to provide them with all the information we can to understand addiction and why getting help from a professional treatment center is always the best option over trying to go it alone or quit cold turkey. In this post, we will examine what an addiction disorder is, what causes addiction, and whether addiction is genetic, and what to look for in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. 

What is an Addiction Disorder? 

Addictive disorders, such as substance abuse, are chronic recurring disorders in which a person continues to use a substance, such as drugs or alcohol, due to a compulsive need, regardless of its harm to the person or their loved ones. Addictive disorders are primarily defined by a need to continue the behavior above all else, making them difficult to break, as time goes on, the compulsion and the need to use grow stronger and stronger. The reason for this can vary by drug as well as by the individual as each case of addiction is unique. 

There are essentially three stages that define an addiction. They are: substance use/abuse, substance dependence/chemical dependence, and full-blown addiction. The amount of time it takes to move from one phase to another is difficult to determine as each case is unique, but almost all cases of addiction and relapse follow this pattern. 

What Causes Addiction? 

One thing that many people wonder about is if there is such a thing as inherited addiction. There are actually several causes of addiction, and it helps to understand them in order to deal with addiction and get the right kind of help. 

The leading causes of addiction include social factors, environmental stressors, personal and psychiatric characteristics, including any associated trauma and genetic factors. This means that a person who is never exposed to substance abuse may quickly become addicted. However, the reverse is also true as multiple factors often combine to determine whether or not a person will become addicted. 

Is Addiction Genetic? 

While several factors determine susceptibility to addiction, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), a person’s genetic makeup is responsible for at least half of their susceptibility to addiction. In other words, even if other factors were not present, genetic makeup could make someone more likely to become addicted than not. 

While more research is needed to determine if specific genetic markers can determine addiction or if addiction is indeed “inherited addiction,” there is strong evidence that genetics play a significant role in a person’s susceptibility. In this way, the answer to the question “is addiction genetic” is yes, even if it’s not directly tied to a specific gene. 

What to Look For in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs 

The main things to look for in drug and alcohol treatment programs are a calm and relaxing environment, an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific addiction, and the experienced and well-trained staff to provide all the tools and treatment necessary to get back on the path to sobriety. 

Hillside Mission Recovery is a luxury inpatient rehab facility that focuses solely on giving our clients the best treatment possible in a relaxing atmosphere. We don’t just treat the addiction; we work to find the root cause of the addiction and help give clients the tools and techniques to deal with it on a daily basis. After the initial evaluation, clients start off with medically supervised detox before entering treatment. Once treatment is concluded, we offer aftercare services to help with continued sobriety. 
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, contact us at Hillside Mission today.