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Is Addiction Genetic?

alcohol treatment

alcohol addiction treatmentAccording to numerous studies, addiction has a 50% genetic predisposition, with environment and poor coping skills contributing to the other 50%. The children of addictions are 8 times more likely to develop some type of addiction. Around 100 million people in America have at least one alcoholic drink daily, and approximately 18 million people are alcoholics. In addition, 23 million people admitted to using an illicit drug during the last year. Drug addiction is a serious problem with a major genetic component.

The Research Studies

In one study involving 861 pairs of identical twins and 653 pairs of fraternal twins, researchers confirmed the genetic component of addiction. When one twin was addicted to alcohol, the other twin had a high probability of developing addiction. However, when one non-identical twin became addicted to alcohol, the other twin did not usually develop the addiction. In another study involving almost 2,000 twins, researchers found a strong genetic link for cocaine addiction. The concordance for cocaine use was 54% for identical twins and 42% for fraternal twins.

In a study involving 231 people diagnosed with alcohol or drug addiction, and 61 persons who did not have an addiction, researchers analyzed first-degree relatives, including siblings, children, and parents. They found that the child of a person with addiction had an 8 times higher chance of developing addiction.

Genes for Addiction

Everyone has the potential for addiction because of the reward system in the brain. Certain brain chemicals are activated when drugs are used. If you have a low genetic predisposition for addiction, you still may become addicted. However, there is much lower risk for addiction than for someone who has a genetic predisposition.

Variations in a particular gene can occur from one person to the next, which allow for hair color, eye color, and height. Genes come from parents, and the risk of developing addiction is inherited as well. Another factor that affects addiction is childhood trauma. Severe stress early in live increases the risk for drug addiction later in life. Some genes are linked to serotonin transportation, and these affect how a person handles stress. Chronic stress and addiction can induce similar epigenetic changes in stress systems, as well as those associated with pleasure.

Other Factors

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are other factors that contribute to development of addiction. These include:

  • The neighborhood or place of residence.
  • The age a person begins drinking or using drugs.
  • A person’s friends.
  • The availability of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • The person’s gender.
  • The presence of mental health issues.

Some diseases are caused by a single gene problem. With addiction, there is a polygenic issue, with many genes contributing to the condition. At present, 1,500 genes have been linked to addiction, which are further classified by neuroadaptations and continued exposure. The more mutation a person’s genes undergo, the greater their vulnerability to developing addiction. Heritable factors and adverse environmental exposures activate a genetic predisposition and increase a person’s risk for substance abuse. However, addiction is a complicated, integrated process affected by the individual pharmacological profiles of the drugs themselves, as well as various environmental factors.

Signs That Your Loved One Needs Inpatient Drug Rehab

drug rehab

drug rehab in san diegoAccording to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 23.5 million people aged 12 and older needed treatment for illicit alcohol or drug abuse in 2009. Of these individuals, 11% received treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation (rehab) facility. There are warning signs to alert you if a loved one needs treatment.

Number 1: Driving a Car While Intoxicated or High

One of the most evident signs that a loved one needs inpatient drug rehab is driving a car while intoxicated or high. This presents a real danger, not just for the driver, but for other people on the road. In fact, more than ¼ of drugged drivers in fatal accidents were age 50 years or older, so driving while intoxicated is not just a problem for young people.

Number 2: The Doctor Thinks Health Problems are Caused by Drinking or Drug Use

Drugs and alcohol are harmful to the body when used over an extended time period. Repeated use of stimulants can cause heart problems, and intravenous drug use often leads to blood-borne diseases such as HIV or hepatitis C. Long-term alcohol use can damage the liver and brain.

Number 3: Withdrawal Symptoms Occur without the Drug of Choice

A person who uses drugs on a regular basis will encounter withdrawal syndrome when attempting to stop. Symptoms include insomnia, irritability, cramps, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and vomiting. In addition, delirium tremors can occur when alcohol is abruptly stopped. This causes hallucinations, shaking, and sweating.

Number 4: Problems with the Criminal Justice System

A person who uses drugs and/or alcohol may be arrested for domestic violence, driving under the influence, being drunk in public, or possession of a controlled substance. Being involved in the criminal justice system is a warning sign that your loved one needs inpatient rehab.

Number 5:  A Co-Occurring Mental Health Condition

Many people who use drugs or drink heavily develop depression and have suicidal thoughts. If your loved one has tried to harm himself or herself, or if he/she expresses feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and helplessness, the drug use could be the cause of this. When your loved one develops depression or symptoms of a mental health condition, inpatient therapy can help.

Number 6: Job Loss, Dropping out of School, or Being Kicked out of School

One sign that a loved one has a serious problem with drugs and/or alcohol is losing a job. In addition being kicked out of school or dropping out are indicators that there is a major problem. Being tardy or missing a class once in a while is not that worrisome, but losing a scholarship or a good job is.

Number 7: The Person has Tried to Quit and Relapsed

Sobriety is not easy to achieve, and it is even harder to maintain. Maybe your friend or family member tried to cut down or stop, but simply couldn’t do it. This indicates that his or her body is physically addicted to the substance. A full-blown addiction has developed, which is not easy to quit without treatment.

Number 8: Lying about the Substance Abuse

You may think it’s none of your business, and the person can handle the problem alone. An addict or alcoholic will lie about the substance use/abuse. He or she will tell you they quit, try to convince you they only use on the weekends, or flat out deny using the substance. Lying about the substance abuse is warning sign that there is a serious problem.


DrugFacts: Drugged Driving. National Institute on Drug Abuse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015. Retrieved from:

What are the possible consequences of opioid use and abuse? National Institute on Drug Abuse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014. Retrieved from:

How To Tell If Someone Needs Inpatient Drug Treatment

Addiction Treatment Center

inpatient rehabIf you have a friend or loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, there are signs to alert you of the problem. While you may be in the position to help, the person’s recovery is ultimately his or her own responsibility. The people who need drug/alcohol detoxification (detox) are often the ones who struggle in a state of denial. It often takes someone they care about to point out the problem and let the person know that inpatient rehabilitation (rehab) is the only thing that will help.

In the United States, approximately 20 million people suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction. However, less than 2% of these individuals go on the get the help they need to kick the habit. If substance abuse is affecting someone you love, consider helping your loved one get into an inpatient treatment center.

Inpatient Drug Treatment could Save a Life

Caring enough to help someone tackle their drug and/or alcohol problem could actually save their life. Thousands of people’s lives have been ruined due to substance abuse, and many of us have no trouble seeing this. However, getting your friend or family member help before it is too late can prevent destruction. It is necessary to show the person that their life will be better without the substance, and stopping cannot be done without inpatient care.

When confronting a person with a drug or alcohol problem, you need to communicate that you care about them and value their friendship. The last thing an addict needs is to be made to feel even worse about themselves. Most people who suffer from addiction already have low self-esteem and a depressed mood. By helping them make that first step to recovery, you could be preventing major mental health issues and even suicide.

Signs Inpatient Rehab is Necessary

While there are thousands of good outpatient drug rehab programs available, there are signs that a person will need more intense treatment. A person will need inpatient drug treatment if the addicted person:

  • Has tried and failed in an outpatient program.
  • Can’t stay away from negative influences while getting treatment.
  • Is dealing with a mental health problem, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety (also known as dual diagnosis).
  • Is in a high stress environment that makes recover more difficult.

Why Inpatient Rehab Works

For many people struggling with addiction, inpatient drug rehab is the best option. A good treatment center provides a stress free environment where an addicted person can devote his or her full attention to the business of recovery. It is easier to handle the struggles of addiction when you eliminate outside stressors. Inpatient facilities are often located in a secluded area, where the client is free of negative influences and triggers.

The inpatient facility is staffed with dedicated, qualified counselors, nurses, and physicians who focus on the individual client and his or her problems. Most inpatient centers offer individual counseling, group therapy, and medical services, so all the client’s needs are addressed. In addition, inpatient rehab centers offer art therapy, extracurricular activities, educational programs, and follow-up care.

Drug Abuse Symptoms

Certain symptoms are indicative that a loved one has a drug problem. Drug abuse symptoms include:

  • Never having money and asking to borrow money.
  • Losing a job.
  • Showing up late to work or calling in frequently.
  • Isolating from friends and family who don’t use/abuse drugs.
  • Spending time with people who do use drugs or drink.
  • Often sleeping or claiming to be ill.
  • Neglect in basic hygiene.
  • Sneaking away to drink or get high.
  • Extremely private about their belongs, such as a bag, car, or room.


DrugFacts: Nationwide Trends. National Institute on Drug Abuse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015. Retrieved from:

4 Stages of Alcohol Addiction Treatment

intensive outpatient treatment 

intensive outpatient treatment Millions of Americans have a drinking problem. Seeking treatment can be scary for most people since they have no clue what happens in a rehab or how bad their withdrawal symptoms would be. Remember that going through a professional rehab program increases your chances of recovery manifold.

Here are the typical steps in analcohol addiction treatment program in San Diego, starting with detox and going up to an intensive outpatient treatment.


When you check into a rehab, the first thing is to evaluate the severity of abuse and your current health. You may have to answer several questions about your addiction. Your answers will be used tocreate a treatment plan that’s tailor-made to suit your needs. Honest responses will help treatment providers to help you better.

Medical Detox

The second step is to wean your system off the alcohol or “detox.” This includes physical and mental withdrawal symptoms, some of which can cause serious health problems. That is why an in-patient detox facility with round the clock medical supervision is recommended.

Inpatient Treatment

Detox focuses on overcoming the physical effects of addiction. Inpatient treatment helps with the emotional, psychological and mental aspects. Individual, group and family therapy can help to overcome stress and triggers that started the addiction.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Once you are out of the inpatient rehab, you go back into “the real world”. To help you with the transition, great rehabs offer intensive outpatient treatments programs, such as Pacific Bay Recovery in San Diego.This includes programs that help with relapse prevention and leading a healthy, active life.

How To Get Help for Your Teenager with Drug Addiction

alcohol treatment san diego 

It’s never too late to help your child!

Alcohol AdictionYou may be the greatest parent in the world, or your teenager may be the best child you could have ever wished for!

However, there is still no guarantee that your teenager won’t experiment with the wrongly hyped drugs. Today, many kids are tempted to abuse medical prescriptions due to peer pressure, media, depression, anxiety, and other similar problems.

Seek Help From The Professionals

The topic of drug abuse is not to be taken lightly, nor can the case be treated at home. You can start by taking your child to a doctor who screens patients for drug substance abuse. You can also contact a drug addiction specialist who often looks into the matter directly.

The doctors or drug addiction specialist will perform the necessary screenings that will include questions related to the drug abuse, the influencers, drivers, behaviors, etc.

Further screening will include tests, such as urine or blood test to derive the extent of drug spread in the body.

Recognizing that your child has a drug abuse problem is the first step that you have already taken in helping your teenager. This takes tremendous amount of strength and courage as a parent. Your support and love, combined with the doctors/specialists medication will help your teenager to a smooth recover.

A most recent survey indicated that 8% of schools going kids are consuming illicit drugs in the U.S; while, marijuana is consumed by 11.7% of these kids. It’s a moment of trauma when parents discover that their child is on drug abuse.

Before jumping on your teen or panicking about the fact: Calm down and prepare yourself! Read below to find out how you can help your drug addicted teenager:

Where to start?

First things first, talk to your teen!

You have to collect all the courage to talk to your child. This is a very crucial step, emotionally and physically. Pick a place of conversation where you can discuss the ‘how, when and where’, and make sure that the environment is right for such a conversation. Therefore, pick a place that is most comfortable for your teenager, for example; his or her room.

Bringing up the topic of drug abuse in the right tone and manner is also essential. This is because it can make a difference in future relationship between the parent and the child. Some discussion topics that you could consider are:

Reasons not to use drugs

Discuss some reasonable facts with your teenage that highlights the negative impact drug abuse can have on his/her life. Do not start with a lecture, or a tone that turns off your child. Have a friendly tone and try to take your teen in full confidence.

Peer pressure: Discuss how the teen can resist it

Discuss with your teens some ways that can help him practically to say no to drugs.

Give your own example:

Put yourself in your teenager’s shoe. Think about how you would respond to drug at this age? Give examples as to how you resisted to abuse drug during your teenage years. Share your experience honestly, even if you used drugs, tell them how much you regret the action at present.

What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse?


Alcohol abuse can be defined as the consumption of alcohol at a level that affects the physical, mental and social integrity of an individual. Alcohol abuse can cut across age, gender and ethnicity, and it affects the individuals involved in different ways.

Usually, the symptoms of alcohol abuse appear within 12 months of the debut of this lifestyle pattern. Its main social symptoms are repeated failure in fulfilling daily work tasks, house chores and homework; drinking in inappropriate situations (driving, at work, in public places); giving up a hobby or other activities to drink; isolation from family and friends; and increased risk of suicide.

In addition to this, the main physiological symptoms of alcohol abuse are the development of resistance to alcohol, so one must switch to drinks that contain a higher percentage of alcohol to get the same effect; weight loss (alcohol slows the metabolism due to inflammation of the organs, which may lead to malnourishment because of the body’s incapacity to absorb nutrients); redness of the nose and cheeks; gastritis or other stomach-related health issues; withdrawal symptoms when one stops drinking, such as: sweating, anxiety, nausea, headaches, shakiness or vomiting; brain damage (caused by the toxic effect of ethanol, nutritional deficiency and electrolyte disturbance); heart damage (alcohol abuse leads to high blood pressure, which in time, weakens the heart muscle – making it harder for the heart to pump blood); cirrhosis of the liver (a slow-progressing disease in which healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue, preventing the liver from functioning normally; it is caused by the oxidative stress experienced when liver tries to break down alcohol); blackout (when the individual can’t remember what happened when he/she was drinking); and nutritional deficiencies such as insufficient amounts of vitamin B12 and thiamine.

Alcohol abuse symptoms may vary with age and gender. Individuals who start drinking regularly at a young age, especially teenagers, face a higher probability of developing alcohol-related diseases and health problems.

Women tend to manifest the symptoms of alcohol abuse more aggressively than men. They can present with the problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome (when the mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy), depression and anxiety.

Men also present characteristic symptoms of alcohol abuse. These can include erectile dysfunction (alcohol damages the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, resulting in loss of sexual desire and coordination) and high blood pressure.


Alcohol abuse in young people is very dangerous because it may develop into a constant lifestyle pattern, potentially causing extremely dangerous disease to become present later in life. It has been observed in a range of different studies that individuals who start drinking at an early age commonly develop afflictions such as larynx, liver, colon and esophagus cancer; Alcoholic Hepatitis (a disease caused by regular consumption of large quantities of alcohol); Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy (weakening of the heart muscle caused by hypertrophy); Alcohol Dementia (deterioration of intellectual functions; may lead to the destruction of certain areas of the brain; caused by the loss of thiamine); and Alcoholic Neuropathy (numbness of limbs, diffuse aches, incontinence, problems swallowing and talking caused by the direct toxic effect of alcohol on the brain).

4 Simple Steps To Drug De-Addiction

Detox Center San Diego

Highly addictive and equally destructive, drug addiction destroys millions of lives every day. Many people know they need a drug rehab but few have the courage to actually seek help at a good rehab. The best San Diego drug rehab centers, such as Pacific Bay Recovery, help you overcome substance addiction in 4 simple steps. These 4 steps are all you need to take to overcome addiction and start on the path to a healthy, happy life.


Once you reach Pacific Bay Recovery, one of the top drug rehab centers in San Diego, a counselor would talk to you
to understand your experience and concerns. Your responses would help to design a treatment plan for you based on which you would progress in your journey to freedom from abuse.


The next stage is detox – to rid your body of the toxic substance. This stage requires medical supervision as the body goes through withdrawal from the drug or alcohol. It is recommended that detox be carried out at an inpatient facility in one of the best San Diego drug rehab centers, such as Pacific Bay Recovery.


Once detox takes you through physical change involved in de-addiction, the third phase takes you through the emotional and psychological aspects. You learn to deal with stress, triggers and harmful behaviors in individual and group therapy sessions at the leading San Diego drug rehab centers.


This step helps you transition from the rehab’s support system into the real world. You may also need to work with preventing relapse and coping with any environmental triggers. Your counselors at Pacific Bay Recovery, one of the best drug rehab centers in San Diego will help you through this transition.

To discuss your case or consult an expert at one of the top San Diego drug rehab centers, Pacific Bay Recovery, call 858-263-9700 and visit TODAY.

4 Most Importance Facts About Heroin Detox

Addiction Treatment Center

Heroin addiction is not easy to treat mainly because heroin affects brain functions causing a strongdrug dependence on the drug. De-addiction from heroin is not a small feat especially due to the unpredictable symptoms of withdrawal. De-addiction specialists at the top medical detox center in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery, spill the beans on heroin detox.

Heroin Detox

Detoxification involves ridding the body of toxins and weaning the person off the abused substance. During heroin detox, a variety of withdrawal symptoms may occur that can be managed at one of the best medical detox centers in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery.

Heroin Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms with heroin detox can come within 12 hours of the last dose and can last for days. Common symptoms include:

    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Muscle aches and pains
    • Sleeplessness
    • Shivering
    • Cold sweats
    • Anxiety and agitation

    The top medical detox center in San Diego, Pacific Bay recovery, has experienced medical professionals who can help to manage and ease withdrawal symptoms so that the person can go through medical detox easily.

    Tips to Detox From Heroin Safely

    The following guidelines can be helpful through the process of heroin detox so that you can work towards recovery.

      • The worst symptoms often occur during the first three daysduring which it’s vital to stay hydrated and to eat healthy.
      • Medical Detox can help patients go through this phase. In such cases, medicationslike methadone are given to ease the withdrawal symptoms.

      Holistic Therapies

      Along with medical detox, one of the leading medical detox centers in San Diego such as Pacific Bay Recovery, also use holistic therapies such as aqua therapy, yoga and life skills coaching to help patients deal with stress and triggers.

      To discuss your case or consult an expert at one of the top San Diego drug treatment centers, Pacific Bay Recovery, call 858-263-9700 and visit TODAY.

3 Secrets To Recover from Dual Diagnosis


Dual diagnosis is the co-existence of substance abuse and a behavioral disorder or mental illness. Many people suffering from drug abuse issues also have behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression and other behavioral disorders. Often the two conditions fuel each other making the situation more complicated. Experts at one of the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery, share secrets on how to recover from dual diagnosis.


You cannot deal with dual diagnosis on your own. If you or a loved one is suffering from or showing signs of dual diagnosis or substance abuse, seek help at one of the top San Diego drug treatment centers, Pacific Bay Recovery. Dual diagnosis needs to be treated under medical supervision that is available only at select drug rehabs such as dual diagnosis treatment centers in San Diego.


Both individual and group therapy is required to help a person recover from dual diagnosis. The inpatient program at the leading San Diego drug treatment centers, such as Pacific Bay Recovery, includes individual therapy and group therapy under the supervision of medical professionals and drug de-addiction experts. This helps to treat both disorders.


There is a risk for relapse in substance abuse cases, especially dual diagnosis patients. The long term outpatient program with Pacific Bay Recovery, one of the best dual diagnosis centers in San Diego, helps to discoverand cope with habits and patterns that trigger cravings and may cause relapse. The professionals at Pacific Bay Recovery help you cope with the daily stressors that may have triggered abuse as you go back to your life.

To discuss your case or consult an expert at one of the top San Diego drug treatment centers, Pacific Bay Recovery, call 858-263-9700 and visit TODAY.

3 Things To Look for In A Drug And Alcohol Rehab

Inpatient Rehab

The decision to seek a rehab is not a small one. When you are looking for a drug and alcohol rehab center for yourself or a loved one, there are a number of factors you should look into before making a final decision. By asking these 3 questions, you will be able to find one that is best for you.

Does The Rehab Provide A Thorough Assessment?

A good rehab will conduct a detailed assessment of the client’s situation and medical and psychological history.The leading drug rehab in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery, uses a comprehensive assessment to get valuable information about the nature and severity of a client’s substance use to decide whether the client needs inpatient rehab in San
or intensive outpatient treatment.

Is The Treatment Plan Individualized?

Each person who needs drug or alcohol de-addiction has unique needs. An individualized treatment plan works best in addiction treatment. The inpatient rehab in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery, customizes treatment plan for you.

Is The Rehab Center Equipped To Diagnose And Treat All Types Of Abuse?

Many people dealing with an addiction also need treatment for other concerns such as mental health disorders. Seek rehabs that offer all treatments and options at the same facility, such as Pacific Bay Recovery, that offers both
inpatient rehab in San Diego and intensive outpatient treatment.

To discuss your case or consult an expert at one of the top intensive outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery, call 858-263-9700 and visit TODAY.