The Role of Genetics in Substance Abuse and Addiction

What’s in your DNA can play a role in your tendency to become addicted to drugs or alcohol – or both. Researchers are continuing to study the role your genetic background plays in your addiction. They look for what differences are a part of your biology when compared to others who don’t have a dependence on alcohol, medications, or illegal drugs.

Regardless of the root cause of your addiction, it’s important that you address them up front with the help of a qualified professional, like David Sherman, MD, FASAM. Dr. Sherman offers a variety of comprehensive addiction treatment and counseling services to help you overcome your addictive tendencies and live a healthier, happier life.

The factors of addiction

Substance abuse and addiction can run in families as genes are passed from parents to children. Many gene differences have been highlighted in research as common among addicts. However, your genetic history is not the only factor.

Studies show that your genetic makeup accounts for 40-60% of your risk for dependence and addiction. Other variables include your environment, your lifestyle, and your decision-making abilities.

Creating a treatment plan for substance abuse and addiction should factor in your genetic history to ensure more effective results and a better chance at long-term recovery.

How DNA factors into your addiction

Scientists continue working to identify genetic factors common in those with addictions. Some examples of DNA’s influence on one’s likelihood of addiction include:



Why gene studies make a difference in treatment

By identifying genetic factors that may influence substance abuse and addiction, treatment can be designed around both psychological and biological needs of each person.

Gene therapies are now at the forefront of addiction treatment, with many new therapies being tested. A comprehensive treatment plan also must take into consideration the different ways medications and alcohol affect people on an individual level.

Knowledge of the biological connections to drug and alcohol abuse can increase the likelihood of long-term success and a lifetime of recovery.

The many elements of addiction recovery

Dr. Sherman specializes in customizing treatment plans using a variety of recovery resources to secure your recovery and help you thrive in life after addiction. He often combines a program of counseling, behavioral therapy, and even medication therapies to help you overcome your cravings and reduce the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

Factoring in your life experiences and your biological makeup is also an important part of achieving recovery. Even if substance abuse is technically a part of your genetic background, it doesn’t mean you’ll live a life in addiction.

Find out more about options for a successful recovery by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Sherman today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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