Addiction genetics is more of a behavior based study than it is a physical gene that can be found in one’s DNA. Scientists have been trying to find a gene that predisposes people to drug addiction for decades. The only consistent pattern in addiction they seem to be able to find is poor coping skills in a person’s life. People with poor coping skills never learned how to properly handle stress. Therefore, genuine underlying issues are never solved. As the years tick by, they compound one on top of the other and more problems develop as a result.
Addiction Genetics, Fact or Fiction
It is believed that children of addicts are more likely to become addicts themselves. The reason for this is that they learn their coping skills from their parents. Addiction genetics has shown us that if a parent teaches a child the only way to be happy during stressful times is to sniff cocaine, then the child repeats the behavior. We, as human beings teach each other and we behave the way we are taught by our parents and our culture. Even if the exact drug is not used by the child, the behavior of taking a substance is repeated. A child may think they are doing better than the parent by drinking instead and not losing jobs and houses over their addiction. However, they are addicts just the same.
In addiction genetics we discover that the desire to calm down or feel good is so overwhelming that addicts are almost willing to do anything to achieve it. When the brain becomes accustomed to feeling rewarded with the desired feeling repeatedly, it continues to seek out the same result by continuing to repeat a certain behavior. Since the brain controls the body, it would stand to reason that the brain can cause an overpowering desire or need to achieve a certain type of relaxation or fun.
The Developing Addiction
The more you use a substance to achieve a good feeling, you can reset the pathways to feeling good in your brain forever. This is why addiction is so hard to overcome. Because addicts have never learned to use other forms of reward to feel good such as jogging or working at a job they love, they rely heavily on the substance.
With substance abuse, addiction genetics show that the mind learns it can achieve a high or a good feeling very quickly and should not require much effort. If a person is used to having to work to achieve a high by going jogging for instance, the brain learns to wait to achieve a natural high.
You Can Break the Path of Addiction
Through study of addiction genetics, science has only ever been able to prove that people can be predisposed to addiction, but not completely helpless in it. It is not the same as being born without an arm or leg. Addicts who have a strong desire to change and create new paths in the brain, can. Deep desire for change can be stronger than the urge to get high if one suffers enough due to problems caused by their addiction.