Is a parent or close family member struggling with a substance abuse problem? If so, you worry that your use of alcohol might turn into something more sinister. Science does seem to show that those with parents with a substance abuse issue are at a higher risk for substance abuse themselves. While it is not something that is necessarily directly passed to children, there does seem to be a correlation. Therefore, is addiction hereditary? Are there other factors in play?
What Does It Mean When a Condition is Hereditary?
A hereditary disease is a condition that your mother or father pass on to you. In many cases, this happens on the genetic level. Therefore, you may inherit a gene mutation. Many conditions can be caused by this type of genetic link. Some are devastating while some are minor inconveniences. A genetic disease is not necessarily a death sentence.
Carrying the defective gene in your DNA results in the development of a health problem. For example, cases in point are down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia. There are medical treatments for these conditions, but no cures. However, how does addiction fit into this spectrum?
Is Addiction Hereditary Like Other Diseases?
In the strictest terms, addiction is not an actual hereditary disease. There’s no substance abuse gene. There is, however, a genetic predisposition. When looking at the condition from this vantage point, it’s fair to say there’s a hereditary aspect.
For example, if one of your parents struggles with substance abuse problems, you’re more likely to do so, too. However, unlike with other hereditary conditions, the predisposition does not translate into inevitability. It doesn’t mean that you will deal with addiction. Social and cultural influences can weigh just as heavily as genetic makeup in your decision to use drugs.
Understanding the Disease Model of Addiction
Addiction therapy specialists recognize that substance abuse is a disease. You don’t choose it. Because it’s chronic, it can crop up even after being in remission for years. Like so many other illnesses, it responds well to treatment.
In fact, effective treatment frequently takes place in a rehab setting. Individual therapy is of vital importance in this setting. Moreover, it allows for one-on-one conversations with a specialist. This type of treatment lets you set goals and establishes a custom approach for overall healing.
For example, modalities include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Trauma treatment
- Holistic care
- Group therapy
Many therapists suggest bringing in family members to receive care, too. Doing so offers a two-fold benefit. Specifically, it allows loved ones closest to you to heal. However, it also provides a way for them to learn how to support your recovery efforts at this time.
Getting the Help You Need for a Substance Abuse Problem
Is addiction hereditary? Genetics make up only one component of the illness. However, overcome abuse today with the help of family therapy and other treatments. Caring therapists at Crest View Recovery Center can help; Call us at 866.327.2505 today.