Addiction, Genetics, and Family Roles

Drug addiction is a very complicated condition. Research has revealed that people who are raised by drug-addicted parents are more likely to develop addictions themselves. This has led to some speculation that drug addiction may be a genetic disorder.

There are many different factors involved in the development of drug addiction. This article will describe some of the genetic and family influences that are considered risk factors. If you’re struggling with addiction, reach out to one of the drug rehab centers in San Diego.

Is Drug Addiction Genetic?

Genes are a part of our DNA. When a gene is activated or expressed, this means that it will perform a certain biological function. The interplay of gene expression is largely what gives us our personality, our appearance, and many other factors that define who we are.

The activation of certain genes may make people more vulnerable to certain diseases.

However, because addiction is such a complicated condition, it’s very difficult for researchers to identify any specific gene that contributes to drug addiction. However, studies have been done in this area.

One study involving more than 100 scientists and a large number of people who struggle with addiction to nicotine and alcohol took a look at these genetic interactions. It was revealed that there are more than 400 genes related to addiction.

Out of these, three specific genes were indicated in every single person who struggled with addiction. Further research can help the professionals at the drug rehab centers in San Diego treat their patients more effectively.

Family Influences and Addiction

More important than genetics is the influence of family members on their children. People who are raised to addicted parents are much more likely to develop an addiction, however, this is not necessarily the result of genetics.

Many people with addictions struggle with emotional or mental disorders. If these disorders are not properly dealt with, then they may be passed on to children.

Take, for example, people who struggle with trauma. Trauma creates a number of difficult emotional reactions. It often seems easier for people to stifle these feelings with drugs or alcohol rather than address them properly.

Unfortunately, traumatized individuals may pass these behaviors on to their children.

Take, for example, someone who was traumatized by negligent parents. If their parents were not available to help them with their emotions, the child may develop the belief that it is necessary to become strongly independent. They may push others away, closing themselves off in an effort to remain emotionally self-sufficient.

If they don’t learn to open up prior to having children of their own, then they will likely pass on the same wound of emotional negligence. This wound could then manifest in the children as drug addiction.

Children are also easily imprinted and may develop similar attitudes and beliefs as their parents. If they are raised in a family where drinking and using drugs is acceptable, they may carry this belief forward and begin to use drugs themselves.


There’s no doubt that people raised by drug-addicted parents are more likely to develop addictions themselves. There are many factors involved in this, some of which are genetic, and some of which are environmental.

In either case, if you are worried that you or your children are going to develop an addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to the drug rehab centers in San Diego. Speaking with a counselor or addiction therapist can help you develop the tools and skills that you need to enjoy life without drugs.

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