Are your genes to blame for your substance abuse problem? There’s some evidence that suggests it could lead to heightened susceptibility to drug or alcohol abuse. At the same time, there’s no addiction gene. Is addiction genetic, or is there something else happening?
Is Addiction Genetic – in the Strictest Sense of the Word?
There’s no proof of heredity. In other words, there isn’t a gene that turns on your susceptibility to drug abuse. However, there’s proof that genetics may predisposition you to be more likely to fall victim to the disease. If your mother struggled with alcohol abuse, you’re more likely to do so as well.
Unlike hereditary conditions, however, your predisposition doesn’t translate into inevitability. Remember that genetic disorders will always express themselves. Inclinations do not. What other factors may put you in jeopardy of experiencing addiction?
Understanding Other Contributing Factors
Looking past your genetic predisposition, other factors may also affect your decision to use drugs. Social and cultural pressures have a lot of influence. If your circle of friends participates in drug abuse, there’s a good chance that you might as well. A permissive attitude toward drug abuse or alcohol excess in the home is another influencer.
Overcoming Addiction with Rehab
Good-quality Pennsylvania addiction recovery services provide a broad range of treatment options. Customization of the experience begins with an intake interview. A therapist learns about you and your treatment requirements. This process ensures that you receive treatment that meets your needs.
As a result, no two rehab experiences are identical. Possible modalities include:
- Family counseling that positions your loved ones as a support network for future relapse prevention
- Goal-setting in talk therapy sessions as a means of planning for independent living after treatment
- Treatment delivery options that include partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient rehab
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which encourages changes to dysfunctional patterns in thinking and acting
- Psychotherapy that provides care for trauma and co-occurring mental health disorders
Recognizing the Need for Dual Diagnosis Treatments
In addition to genetic, social, and cultural influences, there are also mental health factors. Depression and anxiety are two psychiatric conditions that may affect your decision to use a drug or alcohol. You self-medicate with stimulants or nervous system depressants. In fact, many people don’t recognize that they present with a dual diagnosis.
You may have been struggling your entire life with social anxiety, for example. Nobody recognized it as a disorder. To deal with the problem, you lean on a drug. It doesn’t make the problem go away, but it seems easier to deal with.
Getting Help for Drug Abuse Today with Steps to Recovery
So, is addiction genetic? There’s a genetic component to the disease for sure. But there’s so much more at play. Contact the addiction treatment providers at Steps to Recovery by calling 866-488-8684 to learn more and get help.