Addiction and Genetics

addictions and genetics

The link between addiction and genetics has been hotly contested for years. Scientists and medical experts are attempting to answer common questions that society continues to ask about the nature of addiction:

  • Do certain people have a gene that predisposes them toward addiction?
  • Can this gene be passed on through generations?
  • Or, is it just an excuse that addicts use as a reason for their addiction?

At A Center for Recovery we have answers to many of these questions surrounding ​addiction and genetics. We have tried to use this website to answer many of the more common concerns and questions of both alcoholics and drug addicts, as well as, their families.  Our staff is also available to answer your call at any time so that we may provide you with the most up to date information about addiction, genetics and where to get help for yourself or a loved one.

Dopamine Receptors and Genetics

It was during 1990 that scientists discovered the connection between the dopamine receptor in the brain and ​alcoholism​. Further studies showed that people suffering from the disease of alcoholism have far fewer dopamine receptors in the brain. It is further said that people who become addicted to substances like alcohol and drugs are driven to do so to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain.

While it can never be said that genetics is the cause of addiction, it has been proven beyond a doubt that some people with this genetic makeup are susceptible to forms of addiction. Drugs and other substances, including different types of compulsive behaviors affect and modify the brain in different ways. Part of the ​research into the link between addiction and genetics is to discover what happens when drugs reach the brain of people with the addictive genetic makeup.

Genetics in the Treatment of Addiction

The question that many people ask though is whether or not the road to recovery is more or less successful in people who have a genetic link to addiction. Recovery and addiction treatment are able to successfully treat all types of addiction whether or not you are genetically pre-disposed to the disease. Perhaps in the future there will be a stronger link between genetics and the treatment of addiction, but the fact of the matter is that all addiction treatment focuses on the individual and not a group of people.

Taking the first step towards recovery is the most important step of the process. Arming yourself with information in the war against addiction and making the call to find a treatment center near you will be the best way to get the help that you or a loved one deserves. We can help you find an addiction program and guide you through the process of getting help and negotiating the health system.

Understanding the reasons for your addiction and how to effectively fight the urges of your addiction is fundamental to maintaining long term sobriety and is a crucial aspect of any kind of alcohol and drug treatment programs. A Center For Recovery is a valuable resource for friends and family looking for answers and advice on substance abuse, drug and alcohol treatment programs and addiction treatment centers by state: Call us on (800) 444-1014.​​

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