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Is Drug Addiction Hereditary?

Anyone can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The use of drugs is not a new phenomenon and has been documented since ancient times. All it can take is one time to become addicted to a substance. One addiction takes hold of a person, it completely changes them. Drugs are powerful and can take lives. 

Addiction continues to be a problem for many, especially when it runs in families. You may be wondering: is drug addiction really hereditary?

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug abuse is the use of any illicit drug, prescription drug, or over-the-counter medication in a manner other than as prescribed by a doctor.

Drug abuse can lead to addiction, which is the compulsive need to take drugs despite negative consequences. Drug addiction is characterized by an inability to stop taking drugs once started and may result in tolerance and withdrawal symptoms when stopping abruptly.

Drugs are substances that affect mood or behavior. They include legal substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and prescription medications (such as opioid pain relievers), as well as illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

It can take years to fully recover from drug addiction and the process can be challenging. Those with drug addiction may be in denial about the extent of their drug use. This is where a drug recovery treatment center can help. 

How Is Drug Addiction Hereditary?

Contrary to popular belief, drug addiction can run in your family and become a major problem. 

Genetics plays a significant role in addiction to drugs and alcohol. For example, a gene called the DRD2 gene has been linked to alcoholism.

The DRD2 gene codes for the production of dopamine receptors in the brain. Alcohol has a high abuse potential because it increases dopamine levels, so people with more dopamine receptors are more likely to become addicted to alcohol. This means that it’s possible for being an addict to be in your genes. 

If this is the case, it’s smart to avoid drugs and alcohol at all costs. However, this can be hard to accomplish. When drug addiction runs in your family, your environment may often include drugs and alcohol. When you’re around these substances all of the time, it’s difficult to stay away from it. This is how the cycle of drug addiction can keep going. 

How Can I Help Someone with Drug Addiction?

The best way to help someone with drug addiction is to get them help. The best way to get a drug addict help is to get them to a drug rehab center. At a drug rehab center, they will be able to have professional help 24/7. There are two main types of treatment that have been proven effective in helping people with addictions: behavioral treatments and medication-assisted treatments.

Behavioral treatments may include counseling or therapy, while medication-assisted treatments often involve the use of drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone which work on the brain’s chemical pathways to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Individuals who are addicted to drugs may need treatment even after the physical dependence has passed and usually suffer from withdrawal symptoms, relapse, or recurrence of the disease.

If you, or a loved one, are in need of help recovering from drug addiction, it’s time to visit a drug rehab center that can provide the support needed. Recovering from drug addiction is always possible. Here at Recovery Beach, we aim to give every patient the best chance at recovery. 

Contact us to speak with an admissions counselor to get started! We will answer any questions you have. 

It’s never too late to be who you want to be and live the life you deserve.

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