Scientific studies have revealed that drug addiction and genetics are closely related. In fact, half of the cases of addiction have been associated with genetic disposition, while the others have been attributed to poor coping skills.
Addiction is a disease: not a weakness!
If you examine the trends of addicted individuals, it is obvious that drug addiction is not a ‘respecter of persons’. It knows no socio-economic boundaries. People who know little or nothing about drug addiction will tell addicts to be strong or to take control of their lives. But if that was even remotely true, drug addiction would be a distinct characteristic among the unmotivated and unsuccessful people. However, studies suggest that about 10% of all addicts are, in fact, high-functioning executives.
So, how exactly is Addiction a disease?
The truth of the matter is that all human beings have a genetic disposition for addiction. Animals are able to relate a particular taste to a certain food, and either seek that food or avoid it in future. Similarly, human beings have the potential to be addicted to various substances, though some people are more predisposed to addiction than the rest.
Studies suggest that addict parents are 8 times more likely to transfer their addiction to their children, compared to non-addicts, which makes it very similar to a variety of major diseases. Take the example of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US and the developed world. Studies suggest that heart disease is closely related to a person’s genetic disposition, in addition to poor lifestyle choices like smoking, bad diet, and lack of exercise. There are many other serious conditions that are caused by the combination of genes and poor lifestyle, including adult-onset diabetes and cancer.
Discuss your addiction and treatment with your family
If you realize that drug addiction runs in your family, it would not help condemning yourself. On the contrary, you should approach the discovery with a mind that seeks to overcome the disease. Individuals who abuse drugs, with no history of drug addiction in their family, end up becoming addicts. But whether your addiction is genetic or due to poor coping skills, you should seek treatment and discuss your disease openly with your family. Transfer healthy coping skills to your children and let them live happy lives, free from fear of drug addiction.