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Is Addiction Genetic?

Addiction definition in dictionary

Addiction, contrary to popular belief, is a disease and not a lack of willpower. As a chronic disease, addiction causes the affected individual to regularly participate in, and make use of addictive substances, even when the outcome is destructive. Substances can include alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, prescription medication, gambling, and more.

It is said that addiction can be diagnosed with three simple “symptoms”. These symptoms consist of, cravings, intoxication, and withdrawal.

How Does Genetics Play a Role in Addiction?

It has been determined that genetics do play a role in addiction, and that the predisposition to addiction is hereditary. Extensive research has been, and is continuously being, conducted to determine exactly which genetic sequences make an individual more vulnerable to addiction. Studies show that, genetics can increase an individual’s predisposition to addiction by as much as 60%.

However, genetics aren’t the only determining factor when it comes to addiction. Environmental factors play a big role in the outcome of addiction. Some studies indicate that someone’s mental state, upbringing, access to healthcare, and socio-economical standing can all influence an individual’s tendency towards, or away from addiction.

The Role of Genetics in Recovery

Just because someone has a genetic predisposition to addiction and has become addicted, does not mean they cannot enter, and find success in, recovery. As with other diseases such as diabetes, addiction cannot be cured, but it can be treated and managed to a point where the individual can live a happy, productive life that is free from the suffering caused by addiction and substance abuse.

Advancements in the scientific fields surrounding genetics and addiction, such as pharmacogenomics,  gives hope in the promise of being able to tailor addiction treatment and prevention, based on each individual’s genetic makeup. This could drastically change the way addiction is seen, and the lives of those who are affected by it.

Your genes play a big role in all aspects of your body, health, and quality of life. Right now, there is a DNA test that can determine whether or not you are more likely to have addictive tendencies, and there are multiple other predispositions one can test for as well.

At Geneway, we provide access to at-home genetic testing that is able to determine what diseases an individual could be vulnerable to, allowing one to live a lifestyle that reduces the chances of contracting those diseases. Contact us at Geneway, to find out more about our at-home genetic testing kits.

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