With every new study released on the subject, it seems that drug addiction and genetics are most definitely connected. According to research, not only the likelihood of developing a dependence upon drugs and alcohol after casual use is increased but so too is the duration of active drug addiction and the ability to kick the habit.
In one recent study conducted by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, it was found that the DNA of those with fewer neurons than average were more likely to develop addictions. This issue was also found to have an effect on other characteristics related to drug addiction, like decision-making ability, the ability to control oneself, learning abilities and memory.
Nelly Alia-Klein is a researcher at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. She says: “The results suggest that addicted individuals with low MAOA [monoamine oxidase A] genotype may need a different kind of treatment than other addicted individuals who carry the high MAOA genotype.”
More studies are needed, of course, to fully explore the implications of these findings.
Genetics and the Development of Drug Addiction
Why is it that one person can experiment with heroin or cocaine and another will immediately develop cravings for the drug even before a physical dependence develops? Why can one person take a prescription painkiller for months on end and successfully step down their dose until they are drug-free without a problem while another patient will find themselves psychologically dependent upon the pills and unable to stop taking them without addiction treatment? Genetics is quite possibly one of the reasons. If you are physiologically wired to have a more difficult time delaying gratification and dealing with impulses, then that may be due to your genetic makeup.
Environment and the Development of Drug Addiction
In some cases, the tendency to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol may have to do with the environment where you spend your time. If you were raised by parents who drank heavily, used other drugs or didn’t discourage you from getting high or drinking, then the development of later addiction could be in part their fault. Constant exposure to drugs and alcohol or being raised around the concept that drug abuse, addiction and other related activities are normal may make you more likely to try and continue abusing drugs and alcohol until addiction develops.
It Doesn’t Matter Whose Fault It Is: Get Help Today
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether or not your parents’ genetic legacy or poor parenting choices led you to become an adult with an addiction problem. As an adult, you have to take responsibility for your own actions. If you recognize that drug and alcohol abuse or addiction is causing you problems in your life and you know you need treatment, don’t wait to get the help you need. Call now.