For decades there has been much scientific research devoted to understanding why some people easily become addicted to drugs and alcohol while others don’t. There are a variety of factors, after all, that can increase a person’s risk of developing an addiction, from being peer pressured at a young age to undergoing trauma. Addiction can also run in the family.
Both biological and environmental factors in our families can increase our chances of addiction. When it comes to biology, for instance, genetics do play a role – if your parent or other family members have struggled with addiction in their lives, there’s a higher probability that you may become addicted, too.
Another biological factor that can increase your risk for drug abuse is mental illness. Some mental disorders, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression, are hereditary. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, people who have a parent with bipolar disorder have an 8 percent chance of developing the same disorder, compared to the average risk of 1 percent. Roughly 50 percent of all individuals who suffer from severe mental disorders are also affected by substance abuse.
Besides genetics, environmental factors in your home can also account for higher addiction rates. Basic psychology has taught us that a person’s environment growing up plays a huge role in how they turn out as adults. We learn a lot of coping mechanisms and behaviors from our parents, so if we see a parent drink alcohol consistently in the home, this behavior may be more normalized to us.
Some specific environmental factors in the home that can contribute to addiction later in life include:
- Early exposure to alcohol or drugs
- Access to alcohol or drugs, such as by keeping a fridge stocked with beer or having prescription medications where children can reach them
- Childhood neglect by parents
- Childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse
It’s important to know that many children whose parents abuse alcohol or drugs never develop their own addictions, and just because you have a family history of addiction doesn’t mean you’re destined to go down the same path. However, if you or a loved one are in danger and need help, October Road is available to take your call and determine if one of our programs is right for you.
Call Us to Commit to a Successful Future
When you’re ready to seek outpatient rehab services and call October Road, you’re helping more people than you’d think. You’re helping yourself as you are currently, but also your future self, and you’re helping your loved ones who have been affected by your addiction and care about your well-being. Our team of professionals genuinely cares about our clients and wants to see them succeed.
Just because your family has a history of addiction doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to struggle with addiction for life. Though recovery is a lifelong journey, we can give you the valuable tools and skills you need to overcome obstacles and practice healthy coping mechanisms. When you call us for help, you can meet with a clinician to create a plan that is personalized just for you.
October Road offers high-quality recovery services for individuals struggling with drug addiction in North Carolina. Learn more about our Asheville and Charlotte facilities today by contacting us online or by phone at (888) 201-5086.