Is Addiction Hereditary?
What is Addiction?
According to Dictionary. com addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice. A substance or act that is psychologically or physically habit-forming; to such an extent that its cessation causes trauma.
Simply stated, addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests any substance deemed "addictive" or engages in an activity that causes the reward center of the brain to activate.
Addiction Comes In Many Forms
- Substance Abuse
- Video gaming/Internet
Can I Become Addicted the First Time I Try Something?
Not necessarily, a lot of factors come into play before someone becomes addicted to a substance or activity. More often than not repetitive use is what leads to the behaviors becoming enslaving or addicting. However, someone with a strong family history of addiction is much more likely to become addicted after their first use than someone with no family history of addictive behaviors.
The Cycle Of Addiciton
The cycle of addiction often begins very innocently. At a party, or with one's peers, out of curiosity, etc. Whatever substance or activity a potential addict engages he or she will usually enjoy the feelings associated with it. This new feeling of euphoria is caused by the brains reward system being flooded with chemicals - "feel good chemicals." A temporary feeling of euphoria that can only be replicated by partaking in the activity or substance again.
This is a crucial part of addiction and its development. If a person can recognize what is happening to their body, realize the feelings taking place are potentially harmful, temporary, and the makings of addiction; then a person may be able to stop a serious addiction from developing. However, falling into the trap of enjoying the brains overflow of reward chemicals and engaging in the behavior again is a recipe for addiction disaster.
Think about your favorite food -
If you had a choice to eat your favorite food five days a week, would you? Why or why not?
If you answered the above question, you have a pretty good insight into your brain, and it's addictive tendencies. Did you say "YES - I love chocolate cake I'd eat it every, single, day!" Or did you say "I enjoy chocolate cake but my waistline and health wouldn't?"
Just like with chocolate cake, an addict becomes obsessed with a substance or activity and continues to engage in it. As the person continues to engage in these behaviors, their body starts to recognize the substance, and the "good" feelings associated with it; their brain begins to enjoy the feelings - the activity or substance no longer is a want - but more of a need. Thus causing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of true addiction.
Is Repetitive Use Responsible for Addiction ?
Continued abuse perpetuates the cycle. A person's judgment, impulse control, behaviors, and thoughts are all eventually affected. The addict's life is taken over by when their next fix will take place. How will it take place? Where will it take place? Their life, if not already, has compleltely changed. They have re-programmed their brains reward system - things that used to make them happy are no longer a thought. He or she focuses on only the intense need to feed their habit - their brain has told them it is necessary for survival.
Whether it be substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or other addictive behaviors its repetition that causes the "high" feelings associated with all addictions.
From Genes to Addiction: How Addiction Risk Unfolds Over Ones Lifespan
Is Addiction Hereditary?
Addiction being categorized as a disease makes it easy to say that just like diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer, human beings are genetically prone to addiction. Science has taken major steps towards proving that addiction and addictive personalities do run in families. Which would suggest that addiction is in fact hereditary.
Addictive Personalites and Risk Factors for Addiction
A person who exhibits addictive personality traits are more likely to become addicted to behaviors or drug use.
Some of these personality traits include:
- A family history of addiction
- Mental illness
- Lack of impulse control
Speak With Your Dr. About Addiction Counseling And Treatment
Addiction is a treatable disease. Start by speaking with your Dr. and loved ones to create a personalized and solid plan to recovery.
- Is Addiction a Disease? | Center on Addiction
Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body that involves compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences.
- Addiction: Living with an Addict Help - Forums and Discussions - MedHelp
MedHelp's Addiction: Living with an Addict Help Forum. This forum is for help, questions and support regarding Addiction: Living with an Addict
- People With Strange Addictions
Addictions of any kind isn't good or healthy for any of us, that's why we should seek out professional help with what ever problem we're having.
© 2012 Rfordin