Addiction: is it in your genes?

Why do some people become addicted, while others do not? Studies of identical twins indicate that as much as half of an individual’s risk of becoming addicted to alcohol, or other drugs depends on his or her genes. Pinning down the biological basis for this risk is an important avenue of research for scientists trying to solve the problem of drug abuse.

Genes – functional units that make up our DNA – provide the information that directs our bodies’ basic cellular activities. Research on the human genome has shown that the DNA sequences of any two individuals are 99.9% identical. However, that 0.1% variation is profoundly important, contributing to visible differences, like height and hair color, and to invisible differences, such as increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes…and addiction.

As stated earlier, numerous studies have confirmed that 50-60% of addiction is due to genetic factors. However, the same studies found that the other 40-50% of addiction is attributable to poor coping skills…but that’s the good news, because it means that when it comes to addiction, your genes are NOT your destiny. The 50% of addiction caused by poor coping skills is where you can make a difference. Many addicts come from addicted families, but manage to overcome their family history (and genetic predispositions) to live happy, fulfilling, addiction-free lives.

At 12 Keys Rehab, we acknowledge that genetics are a fundamental factor in addiction, but we believe it is necessary to go beyond pure science to truly understand and treat addiction in an effective and lasting manner. More than merely teach about recovery, we provide our clients with extensive training and support in order to achieve long-term results. We offer a comprehensive range of services for drug rehab and alcohol rehab treatment that includes intervention, detox, dual diagnosis, individual and family therapy, and after rehab care planning.

Understanding all of the factors that led to your addiction is an important part of the overall recovery process. Let 12 Keys help you get your life back.

The Addiction Blog