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Is Drug Addiction Hereditary: Unpacking The Evidence

People with a loved one who are addicted, as well as people with addictions themselves, may wonder: “Is drug addiction hereditary?” The answer to this question can help people understand whether addiction runs in families, what genes contribute to addictions, and what the risk for addiction is based upon family and genetic history.

The results of research have provided answers to is drug addiction hereditary, and the general consensus is that addiction is hereditary, at least in part.

Is Drug Addiction Heredity: General Findings

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about half of the risk for addiction is dependent upon a person’s genes. Advances in technology have allowed scientists to identify specific genes that are linked to the development of addiction. For instance, scientists have found that a certain gene seems to be involved in the development of marijuana addiction.

However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse also explains that drug addiction is complicated, and multiple factors can contribute to the development of an addiction. More than one gene determines how likely people are to experience an addiction during their lives. Furthermore, factors aside from genetics are linked to addiction risk.

Ultimately, addiction is significantly hereditary, but genes are just one of the many factors that can place a person at risk of becoming addicted to drugs.

Interaction of Genes And Environment Explain How Is Drug Addiction Hereditary

Genetics are just one factor that can increase a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs. The interaction between a person’s genes and their environment can also explain how is drug addiction hereditary.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a phenomenon called epigenetics, which looks at how the environment affects the way a person’s genes are expressed, can explain the development of a drug addiction. Certain environmental factors can place a mark on a person’s DNA, making addiction more likely.

For instance, when a person uses cocaine, it changes their DNA and can cause the body to create proteins that are associated with addiction. Other factors, such as stress or social issues, can change the ways that genes act, thereby increasing the risk of addiction.

Is Drug Addiction Hereditary: Variations By Type of Drug

Another factor to consider is the type of drug involved. According to a research report in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, drug addiction in general is at least moderately heritable, but in some cases, it is highly hereditary. Whether addiction is highly hereditary is dependent upon the specific drug.

For instance, the research shows that heritability for addiction to hallucinogenic drugs is .39, which means that 39 percent of addiction to hallucinogens is based upon hereditary factors. On the other hand, the heritability of cocaine addiction is .72, suggesting that there is a strong link between hereditary factors and cocaine addiction. The heritability of marijuana addiction is closer to that of hallucinogenic drugs, but addiction to opiates such as heroin is more strongly hereditable, similar to cocaine.

Other Factors That Provide Answers To Is Drug Addiction Hereditary

Beyond specific types of drugs, factors such as a person’s age can also impact hereditary drug addiction. Studies show that during the teen years, family and social influences are more likely to contribute to the beginning of drug use. However, during young and middle adulthood, the hereditary contributions to addiction are stronger.

According to experts, it may be that as people age, they have a greater ability and motivation to make their own choices, so family and social factors do not contribute as strongly to addiction. In addition, throughout the lifespan, genes may play a greater role after people have more and more exposure to drugs. Put more simply, as people grow older, they have more opportunities to be exposed to drugs, which means there is a greater mark left on the genes.

Understanding Drug Addiction

While it has been established that hereditary factors play at least some role in drug addiction, it is also important to understand what drug addiction is. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder, and it is associated with relapse and compulsive drug-seeking.

This means that just like any other medical condition, addiction is a legitimate disease that requires treatment. Regardless of whether genetic or environmental factors cause an addiction, once a person is addicted to drugs, they will have a difficult time giving them up, even when they experience serious consequences, such as health problems, relationship difficulties, or job loss with drug addiction.

The clinical term for a drug addiction is a substance use disorder, and this condition involves strong drug cravings, using larger amounts of drugs than intended, and being unable to stop or reduce drug use. Once a person develops a substance use disorder, drug rehab is necessary to help them stop using drugs.

California Drug Rehab

If you are living with a substance use disorder, and you are seeking a California-based drug rehab facility, Resurgence is located in Orange County and welcomes patients from surrounding areas as well. We offer drug detox, in addition to inpatient and outpatient drug rehab. If you choose us as your inpatient drug rehab provider, your stay in rehab will occur in a home-like setting, where you will benefit from several forms of treatment, such as group and individual counseling, educational workshops, spiritual outings, physical exercise, and stress-relieving activities like yoga and meditation.

You will also have close access to local beaches and outdoor shopping. At Resurgence, we also believe in offering an individualized treatment plan to meet your specific needs, and we strive to treat more than just addiction. For example, we know that drugs can lead to other problems, such as mental health issues, and we are qualified to treat these conditions as well.

Paying for Resurgence California Drug Rehab

Once you determine that it is time to seek California drug rehab, you have to decide how to pay for it.

At Resurgence, we do not want finances to stand in the way of you getting the help you need, so we accept insurance as well as private payment plans.

We offer a free insurance verification program, where you can simply visit our website or give us a call to provide us with your insurance information.

Shortly after, a member of our team will be in touch to inform you how much you can expect to pay for Resurgence California drug rehab.

Most insurances cover at least a portion of the cost of drug rehab, but coverage varies between different insurance providers.

We accept most major insurances to cover the costs of your drug rehab, including Assurant Health, Vista Insurance Partners, Humana, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield, Health Net, and others.

Reach out to us today to begin your recovery journey.

Sources:

1) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/genetics-epigenetics-addiction
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2715956/
3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3506170/
4) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics

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