Understanding the Genetics Behind Addiction

Understanding where addiction gets its start is a subject that’s been researched by mental health professionals across the world for decades. Results of several studies indicate genes and your environment play equal roles in the process. But if it’s built into your DNA, how do you avoid or overcome addiction?

At Creative Care, with locations in Woodland Hills and Calabasas, California, our expert team of mental health professionals specializes in providing highly effective therapies that tackle drug and alcohol addiction from both environmental and genetic perspectives.

Our treatment programs are designed to help you choose health over addiction. Part of the recovery process is understanding the role that genetics plays in substance abuse.

Addiction and genetics

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2019, the traits that come your way through genetics can determine whether you’re at risk of developing an addiction.     

As you probably know, factors such as height, eye color and other visible characteristics are passed down in the DNA you inherit from your ancestors.

You may be surprised to learn, however, that genes shape your personality and response to physical and emotional stress. They also dictate how quickly addictive substances are broken down and absorbed by your body, as well as the intensity of your response to the substance.

To further complicate matters, small changes or mutations in your DNA also determine your odds of developing diseases like breast cancer, diabetes, and addiction. Your DNA can also increase your risks of experiencing certain mental health disorders such as depression, which also increases your risk of substance abuse.

All these factors lead researchers to conclude that genetics account for about half of an individual’s risk of becoming and/or remaining addicted to alcohol or drugs.

How do you recover from addiction when it’s built into your DNA?

You can’t change your DNA. You can, however, alter its influence on your life.

If, for instance, you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease influenced by genetic traits, you can help prevent a future heart attack by undergoing recommended treatments such as stenting, taking medications as directed, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

In the same way, when addiction is threatening your health and well-being, you can take steps to avoid the consequences of a genetic predisposition to substance abuse by seeking treatment from trained professionals that helps counter its effect on your life.

What is the treatment for addiction?

At Creative Care, our inpatient treatment services are personalized and based on your individual needs. We have a fully equipped staff that includes a consulting psychiatrist, psychotherapists, registered nurses, counselors, and other highly trained professionals that work as a team to create your ideal recovery plan.

Along with a 12-step program and individual as well as group therapy, your treatment might include:

Start your recovery today by calling Creative Care at 800-832-3280.  

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