A new study published in the journal Psychiatry Research found that a parent’s struggle with an addiction might be connected to the depression experienced by their children in adulthood. Several studies, in fact, have found evidence to support this theory – both research done clinically and population-based studies as well.
But does the effect of a parent’s addiction stop there? Since depression and substance abuse are often connected, and genetics, too, can play a part in the development of addiction, are your parent’s addiction issues the reason why you have a problem with drugs and alcohol?
Biology of Addiction
Biology, or genetics, can certainly play a part in the development of addiction. The closer the relative who struggled with either drug or alcohol dependence – a parent or a sibling – the more likely it is that when you use drugs or alcohol for any reason, you may be prone to the development of addiction.
However, having a genetic predisposition for the development of addiction by no means guarantees that you will end up with the disorder. You do have to choose to use an illicit substance, first of all, and the experience of seeing firsthand and up close all the negative consequences of drug use and abuse can be a great deterrent from even mild use of drugs or alcohol.
In most cases, there is no one single cause of addiction. Usually, a combination of factors contributes to the development of drug dependence. In addition to genetics, certain other issues may be contributing causes:
- Early age of first use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Easy and regular access to drugs of abuse, including alcohol
- Growing up in or regular exposure to a permissive attitude about drug and alcohol use
- Living with a co-occurring mental health issue (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.)
If you struggle with depression and grew up with a biological parent who abused drugs or alcohol, you do have a genetic predisposition to the development of addiction plus exposure to a permissive environment for drug and alcohol abuse – not to mention early access to illicit substances. If you developed a depression disorder as well, then there’s yet another common factor.
However, even in the face of all these potential causes, it is possible to escape the sentence of addiction, and even those who do develop a dependence on drugs or alcohol aren’t doomed to a life of pain, health problems and self-destruction. Treatment is always an option.
Treatment Changes Lives
It doesn’t matter what happened in your childhood or the experience of your parents or friends or other family members. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been drinking or using drugs or whether or not you are living with mental health symptoms as well. You always have the choice to get the treatment that will help you create the life you were meant to live.
Contact us at Alta Mira today to learn more about our intensive treatment program and find out how to get started now.