Is Addiction Genetic Or Environmental?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Is Addiction Genetic Or Environmental Or Both?

Is addiction genetic or environmental? Addictions are complex diseases. For too long addicts were considered immoral and criminal, and out of shame many neglected to go after the help they needed. Researchers have found addiction is both genetic and environmental, and through this clarification of its origins, much of the stigmatization has been removed.

Is Addiction Genetic Or Environmental?

According to the Genetic Science Learning Center, “Roughly 10% of all people who experiment with drugs become addicted.” Research has shown the likelihood of addiction is influenced by a combination of both environmental and genetic factors. Is addiction genetic or environmental? The experts say it is both. There are a number of environmental risks that increase the risk of addiction including the following:

  • Poverty
  • Depression
  • Friends who are using drugs or alcohol
  • Dysfunctional family environment
  • Lack of emotional support at home
  • Parent abusing substances
  • Bullying issue at school or online
  • Experimenting with drugs and alcohol before the age of 21
  • Depression

Genetic risks have been recognized as being responsible for a significant portion of an individual’s probability of becoming addicted to substance abuse. It’s important to note that numerous genes are involved in and there is not a single gene for drug addiction and another for alcoholism. Some of the many genetic predispositions include the following:

  • Genetic predisposition to thrill seeking (trying out substances without concern for safety)
  • Genetic predisposition to feelings of euphoria
  • Genetic predisposition to one specific drug
  • Genetic predisposition to alcohol
  • Genetic predisposition to cross-addiction

Both genetic and environmental factors also contribute to behavioral addictions such as gambling, sex, pornography, tobacco, and hoarding.

Is Addiction Genetic Or Learned Behavior?

Is addiction genetic or learned behavior? There is a great deal of discussion in the medical field about addiction, genetics, environment, and learned behavior. New inroads are constantly being made that make it possible for professionals, like those associated with Better Addiction Care, to continually improve the services they have to offer people afflicted with addiction. The first decision to take a drug or drink an alcoholic beverage is a voluntary action and can be influenced by the behavior of one’s peers. Succumbing to “peer pressure” is common among teenagers, but it will only result in addiction for some.

Some young people mature and walk away from the bad choices they have made concerning drugs and alcohol, but others are not able to stop abusing substances. Is addiction genetic or learned behavior? A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona concluded that lack of social skills increases a person’s risk of loneliness and both physical and mental health. Without the necessary skills, individuals are placed in an emotional environment where they may follow the illicit actions of others in order to achieve some form of social acceptance. Persons who experiment with drugs under these circumstances may be considered as following learned behavior.

Addicts who fall into these categories of substance abusers need help to get off the drug or alcohol and into recovery mode. Better Addiction Care can direct you to the right facility for yourself or a family member who needs help with substance abuse.

Predisposition To Addiction

How is predisposition to addiction defined? While no specific gene has been identified as the “addiction gene,” addictionologists continue to analyze “linkage” on the human genome. The goal is to target “candidate genes” that can be specifically attributed to addiction. Presently the “connection” is derived from correlation studies of genetics and other factors including when simultaneous conditions (comorbid) connected to addiction occur.

Science continues to search for the specific genetic linked to addiction. Meanwhile, research studies show that as much as sixty-percent of predisposition is directly attributed to genes. Addictions lead to serious problems for the individual. Loss of job, family, finances, and even freedom can result from substance abuse. Better Addiction Care’s goal is to connect you to the right treatment center to help you or a loved one get out of the deadly cycle of addiction. Take action and call them today.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2715956/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-abuse-addiction

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463407/