Over the years, the scientific community has come a long way in understanding addiction. Despite this, many scientists still aren’t sure what causes addiction in some people but not others. Experts do know, however, that certain factors play a role in the development of addiction. One such connection is the link between genetics and addiction.
Do Genetics and Addiction Go Hand in Hand?
Are some people born with an addiction gene? The link between genetics and addiction is something that scientists want to prove. Unfortunately, proving this link is hard to do.
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Experts know that kids born into families that have a history of drug abuse are more likely to abuse drugs. However, they don’t know if this likelihood is due to genetics or environmental factors. After all, a child who grows up watching family members do drugs has a higher chance of trying them, too.
To fully understand the link between genetics and addiction, people first have to have a basic understanding of genetics. If there’s a link between the two, then professionals could take preventive measures for those who are more at risk.
Studying genetics involves studying the genes that parents pass on to their offspring. Genes make up part of the DNA structure. Within this DNA structure, parts of the code determine certain traits in humans like eye and hair color.
However, genes also contain other important information. For example, gene-related medical conditions such as diabetes and mental disorders often occur in children whose parents have them. When a certain condition runs in people’s families, they’re more likely to develop that condition as well.
What does that have to do with addiction, though? Experts say that addiction is a mental disorder. Since genetics show that mental disorders can pass on to children, why wouldn’t addiction?
Proving the Link Between Genetics and Addiction
Proving the link between genetics and addiction isn’t as easy as people think. DNA is nearly 99.9% unique. However, the remaining 0.1% still contains hereditary genetic code.
The trouble for experts lies in proving that genetics causes addiction. Unlike other mental disorders, addiction doesn’t happen until someone tries drugs. Doctors have to prove that addiction occurs as a result of genetics rather than the addictive nature of drugs.
Many doctors believe that several factors play a role in the development of addiction. If they’re right, then there’s no one factor that causes the disease. Instead, genetics, environmental factors, and other mental disorders cause addiction.
Progress in Proving a Link
Despite the odds, doctors have still made progress in proving the link. For example, some genes are more common in people with addiction. Gene DRD2 appears more often in people who suffer from cocaine and alcohol addictions.
What about smoking? People who don’t smoke are more likely to carry the CYP2A6 gene. Also, people who carry two ALDH*2 genes are less likely to develop alcoholism.
Get the Help That You Need to Fight Addiction at Serenity Lodge
Regardless of what causes addiction, there’s no denying that it’s a problem with which many people struggle. While scientists may find a way to prevent it in the future, millions of people need help now. At Serenity Lodge, we aim to help people overcome addiction now so that they can live better lives.
Our male-only rehab center that focuses on providing custom rehab plans to help men overcome addiction. When creating addiction treatment programs, we use a combination of many services, including:
Don’t let addiction ruin your life. Get the help that you need to beat it. Reach out to Serenity Lodge today at (855) 932-4045.