Did you know that having a family history of addiction puts you at a higher risk of developing a drug addiction? Additionally, even if your family members don’t have a history of substance use disorders, other factors, such as a history of mental health conditions (such as depression) can contribute to drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your chances of experiencing substance use dependencies.
How Family History Affects Drug Addiction
There are a variety of ways our family history plays a role in our overall health, including both physical and mental health. But some family history can predispose people to specific behaviors, including drug abuse, putting them at higher levels of substance abuse and addiction risk than others.
Genetics is one reason for this. Research indicates it’s possible that genes can be connected with developing an addiction. For example, some genes might actually affect the communication between nerve signals when drugs are used, causing people to want more of the drug.
But it’s more than just genetic factors that can play a role. If you come from a history of family members with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or bipolar disorder, this could potentially put you at a higher risk of abusing drugs. For children living with parents who have these types of mental health conditions, it can often create a chaotic and stressful environment for them.
These environmental factors could mean growing up without learning how to cope with stress in healthy ways, as they never witnessed it and/or were never taught how.
Is Addiction Hereditary?
Yes, there are many studies indicating the connection between parents who have experienced substance use disorders and their children. It is believed this is largely due to the fact that genes are passed down in families.
If drug addiction does run in your family, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you will develop a substance use disorder. It simply means you will need to be aware and take specific steps to reduce your risks of developing an addiction.
Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Drug Addiction
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a drug addiction:
Avoid Using Drugs
The best option is to avoid using drugs in the first place. However, this can be easier said than done. Many people abuse drugs as a way of coping with the emotional ups and downs of life.
Find New Ways to Cope
By learning new ways of dealing with life’s stressors, you’ll be less likely to use substances as a way of dealing with them. For example, if you are upset because you didn’t receive the promotion you wanted at work, talking with someone about your frustrations and how to work through those emotions can help (rather than using drugs). Participating in sober activities can also help.
Various forms of therapy, including talk therapy, can be helpful in learning new coping mechanisms and provide tools for dealing with difficult emotions.
Know the Signs of Addiction
It’s important to be aware of addictive behaviors so that if you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can seek treatment. The signs of addiction include a combination of the following:
Inability to stop using the drug (even if it’s negatively impacting your health)
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
Needing more of the drug to feel the same effect
Avoiding friends and family
No longer participating in activities you once enjoyed
Spending money on the drug even if you cannot afford to buy it
Addiction is a disease and therefore, despite following the above steps to reduce risks, some people will still develop an addiction. The good news is addiction treatment is available to help you or someone you love overcome their addiction and live the life they deserve.
Start Your Addiction Treatment Today at Luxe Treatment Center
At Luxe Treatment Center, we focus on utilizing evidence-based humanistic therapies and treatment plans that take a whole-person approach with our clients, rather than simply treating people with substance abuse. If you’re ready to take the next step toward drug and alcohol addiction recovery, our team is here to help you begin healing.