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Is Alcohol and Drug Addiction Genetic?

A father and his adult son talk together on a sunny day.
Hereditary is not the whole story when it comes to addiction.

Addiction and genetics have a complicated relationship.

Just because your parent battled addiction, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to. But, at the same time, you’re not in the clear if your relatives led addiction-free lives.

The reality is that the situation isn’t so cut and dry.

Addiction Genetics

Research over the years continues to support the idea that addiction risk is half genetic and half environmental.

The result is that some people may dabble with drugs and never get addicted. Others might become addicted very quickly.

Addiction and Genetics and Your Future

The good news is that, whether or not addiction runs in your family, you can take steps to make sure that you don’t end up sharing that same battle.

The most obvious course of action you could take is to avoid drinking alcohol and using drugs. While that’s the safest route to go, it’s not something that everyone wants to do.

We don’t, for example, tell diabetics that they can never indulge in a piece of cake again. Rather, experts advice moderation.

As part of that, experts point to the importance of developing good coping skills. Feeling stressed, nervous or unsettled? Turning to drugs or alcohol is an easy way to escape those feelings—and an easy way to eventually develop an addiction.

Rather, take the time to learn the relaxation techniques that work for you. It could be exercise, watching a movie, going for a hike, spending time with friends or even—once in a while—turning in early for a good night’s sleep.

Drinking in moderation is defined by the National Institute of Health as no more than three drinks on any single day and no more than seven drinks per week for women and, for men, no more than four drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week.

If you drink more than that, it doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic. But it does mean you might be at greater risk of developing alcohol abuse disorder at some point in your life if you don’t take precautions.

About The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a treatment center located in Denver where residents are given the help they need to rebuild their lives. Our team of experts works together to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

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