Understanding the Genetics Behind Addiction

When you consider that nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, and that only 10% of these individuals seek treatment, you can see that recognizing addiction is incredibly important. 

One way to recognize addiction is to look at a person’s family history; addiction does, in fact, have a genetic component. Scientists estimate that genetic predisposition accounts for 40%-60% of a person’s risk of addiction. 

At Klarity Clinic, your recovery is our greatest priority. That’s why we’ve compiled this list to help you to better understand the genetics behind addiction. 

The genetic component of addiction

Issues with substance abuse are often found to run in families, which means that a predisposition to drug or alcohol addiction can be passed from parent to child.

So, if you have a family history of addiction or a close relative with a substance abuse problem, then it’s an indication that you need to be particularly cautious. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up with an addiction problem, but it does mean that you have an increased risk for addiction.

How understanding your genetics helps with treatment

When you sit down with a Klarity Clinic addiction specialist, a discussion of your family history to discover any genetic predisposition for addiction gives us a good first step to formulate the most effective approaches to intervention and, ultimately, a treatment plan. Knowing that you have a genetic risk for addiction can help us navigate any roadblocks that pop up along the way during the course of your treatment.

With genetics, it’s possible to isolate individual factors that can make an individual more susceptible to addiction. For example, there’s a type of dopamine receptor known as D2. Brain imaging suggests that people with fewer D2 receptors have a higher predisposition to addiction. 

Of course, genetics isn’t the only contributor to a person’s risk of addiction. Addiction can result from a combination of genetic and other factors in a person’s life. This means that both nature — your genetics and personality — and nurture — a person’s environment, childhood, and lifestyle — can work together to contribute to addiction. 

Start treating your substance abuse problem today

At Klarity Clinic, our doctors treat substance abuse problems with compassion, care, and expertise. We understand the importance of long-term solutions to addiction, which is why we offer ketamine and NAD+ infusion therapy.

Call us to set up an appointment at one of our locations in Northern California, Las Vegas, Denver, or Cincinnati. We’re here to help you start on the road to recovery today. 

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