How Can Addiction Run in a Family?

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When a loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol, you want to find the root of the issue as soon as possible. There are many reasons why people become addicted to substances; unresolved trauma, peer pressure, and just experimentation went too far. In many cases, the cause of a loved one’s substance abuse can be found within the four walls of your home. A common question that is often asked is does addiction run in the family.

In this article, we will discuss family addiction and the factors of genetic addiction that make people more vulnerable to developing substance abuse. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, today is the day you find professional help. Southern Sky Recovery offers evidence-based outpatient rehab programs in Bluffton. Contact us today to learn more about our top-rated drug and alcohol rehab program in South Carolina.

Does Addiction Run in the Family?

As stated in the introduction, the question of does addiction run in the family is perhaps the most commonly asked. The simple answer is that family addiction can be a major player in someone developing a substance abuse issue.

If parents or other family members are actively struggling with addiction, it creates significant turmoil in the household. This leads to increased stress, anxiety, and trauma that may lead other family members to start using substances to deal with what is occurring in the household. While family history is often a major factor in the development of substance abuse, it doesn’t mean that it’s a given that a family member will develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

What Role Does the Environment Play in Addiction?

In addition to family factors, a family member’s environment is also a significant factor in the development of addiction. 

  • Easy access to a substance–Studies show that availability and exposure to substances in the home — particularly at a young age — can drive future use.
  • Peer pressure–Friends can serve as a major force when it comes to drinking, smoking, or drug use. The desire to “fit in” can lead to increased use and eventual addiction.
  • Traumatic stress–There’s a strong connection between exposure to traumatic events and substance abuse. These events include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, surviving a major accident, or the death of a loved one.
  • Mental health issues—family members that have a history of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD have an increased risk of developing a substance abuse issue.
  • Members of the LGBTQIA+ community—people in this group experience a large amount of discrimination, trauma, and stress. As a result, they may turn to substances as a coping mechanism.

How to Minimize the Chances of Family Addiction

If your family has a history of substance abuse, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of developing addiction:

  1. Talk with your doctor regarding your family history of substance abuse. In this discussion, you will learn about your family’s genetic predisposition to addiction, and you can take steps to lessen your risk.
  2. You want to limit your substance use and exposure and even avoid substances altogether.
  3. Enlist the help of a therapist and talk through your family history, worries, and concerns about substance abuse.

Call Southern Sky Recovery Today

Having a loved one struggle with addiction is heartbreaking, and your worst nightmare comes true. While the situation seems hopeless, the help and support you need are just a phone call away. As one of South Carolinas premier treatment facilities, Southern Sky Recovery offers outpatient drug rehab programs at at-home drug detox services. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment in Bluffton, SC.

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