Are Some People Born Addicts?
We are asked this question on a regular basis, so if you’ve ever wondered if some people are born addicts, you’re not alone. Many people, both those who have become addicted and those who love them, ask this question in an attempt to understand addiction. The answer is simple: No one is born an addict, nor is anyone destined to become addicted. Yet, there are those of us that are more likely than others to become dependent on drugs and alcohol and walk the path that leads to addiction.
Predisposed to Addictive Tendencies
Just like with other diseases, vulnerability to addiction varies from one individual to another. No single factor determines if someone will become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Generally, the more risk factors a person has, the greater chance that using alcohol and or drugs will result in addiction. On the other hand, the more protective factors a person has, the less likely a person will be to develop an addiction.
|Risk Factors||Protective Factors|
|Aggressive behavior in childhood||Good self-control|
|Lack of parental supervision||Parental supervision and support|
|Poor social skills||Positive relationships|
|Drug experimentation||Academic Competence|
|Availability of drugs at school||School anti-drug policies|
|Community poverty||Neighborhood pride|
|Mental Health Issues||Early Identification & Treatment|
|Illness or Injury||Prescription As Prescribed|
There are certain genes that make one person more likely than another to become an addict. Research indicates that genetics make up 40 to 60 percent of a persons vulnerability to addiction; this vulnerability percentage is based on factoring in the effects of environmental and genetic factors. It’s important to note that this is a predisposition, not a death sentence. Like having a genetic predisposition for heart disease, it doesn’t mean someone will have a heart attack, it just means you are more likely than someone else to develop these issues. The research also indicate that Adolescents and individuals with mental health issues are at a greater risk of substance abuse and addiction than others without these issues.
Another reason some people seem to be destined to become addicted is when there’s a prevalent family history of addiction. Although much of that may have to do with the family’s genetics, the other half of the equation is learned behaviors and insufficient coping skills. This is one of the reasons that children of addicts are four times more likely to struggle with addiction than those who parents are not addicted.
A Complex Trait
Addition is a complex trait and there is no single red flag that determines who will and who won’t become addicted. Yet, there are recognizable traits that may be able to identify those who are more vulnerable to becoming addicts. These include a family history of addiction, certain mental health diagnoses, and a history of abuse or trauma.
What it comes down to is that everyone is responsible for him or herself, regardless of genetics, environment, and childhood abuses. One way to take responsibility is to receive addiction treatment. Addiction treatment is shown to be effective; however, receiving the right type of treatment is the key. The best programs are accredited, non-12 step, evidence based programs offering limited enrollment. Facilities that offer a comprehensive managed care model demonstrate that they have a real concern for that treating the whole client and all of their needs. These types of facilities excel because they treat the addiction and all of the underlying causes of addiction. The causes of addiction are complex; however, no one has to remain an addict and it’s never okay to just accept it as defeat, saying it was destined to be, that you were born an addict. Addiction can — and does — happen to anyone, regardless of family history, genetics, self-esteem, or anything else that may influence drug use.
Are You Looking for Utah Addiction Treatment?
If you or someone you love is in need of a drug and alcohol treatment facility near Utah, consider Cold Creek. A rehab in the mountains, our Lodge treatment center takes a non-12-step approach to recovery and offers different levels of treatment including residential, outpatient, day treatment, and gender specific sober living. With a variety of treatment approaches like CBT, DBT, equine therapy, EMDR, motivational interviewing, and mind-body bridging, it’s the right way to start your journey to recovery. Contact us today to learn more.