Is Addiction Genetic – The Answer From Experts

An interesting fact that intrigues most people is whether there is an environmental impact on addiction or is addiction genetic? Just like many diseases are inherited through our genes, is there an addiction gene that predisposes one to turn to escapist mechanisms and substances?

Is Addiction Hereditary?

The answer to this question is yes. There is a link between genetics and addiction but it is not necessarily true for all cases. There are many children and grandchildren of people with addiction problems that never turn to alcohol or drugs themselves. However, science and research have noticed that there is a genetic predisposition to addiction.

Factors in Addiction Predisposition

The two factors that connect genetics and addiction are the fact that children whose parents are addicts have more opportunities to try these kinds of substances. Children of addicts inherit and copy behavioral patterns of their patterns that predispose one to seek an outlet through drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors.

According to addiction genetics and research, genetic predisposition to addiction accounts for 50% of the risk of substance abuse. Just like other diseases, when a person has a genetic predisposition for developing addictions, as soon as they come into a certain environment that unlocks these tendencies, the disease comes out.

Just like our bodies, temperament is also largely inherited. People who inherit addiction genetics in the form of an impulsive, risk-taking and thrill-seeking qualities are more likely to turn to drugs in order to find the temporary emotional boost that these substances offer them.

Another way in that proves whether is addiction genetic is the response the individual has towards these kinds of substances. The pharmacokinetics of the addictive substances are absorbed and broken down people in different rates and intensities. This is under the control of their genes. There are people who have a brighter response to addictive substances than others and attach to them quicker. Others who do not have a genetic predisposition to addiction may find that drugs and alcohol do not have the same strong effect on them.

Biology Behind Addiction

When scientists have to answer the question, “Is there an addiction gene?“, they begin connecting the dots for other people to understand how our brain and psychology work together. The susceptibility to addictive substances is greatly influenced by the structure of the individual reward system in the brain. The two structures that are the main players in this system are the amygdala that is responsible for threat reactions and the prefrontal cortex that responses to our environment.

This region is important to survival. The drive for eating and procreation are part of this system. Drugs are substances that interfere with the functioning of this region. The addictive substance numbs this part of the brain and stops it from seeking natural rewards. As a result of them, the prefrontal cortex may lose its strength. This makes people under the “addiction disregard their situation and not take care of themselves.

Seeking Help

Thankfully, there are ways to treat addiction on both a physical and a psychological level. Places like pathfinders rehab give people who want to stop the circle of addiction the opportunity to receive help. Pathfinders rehab is focused on not only curing addiction but also providing its clients with the resources to manage stress and become immune to taking up drugs and alcohol after rehabilitation.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

Our Newsletter

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Us

See how much of your treatment is covered by insurance

(877) 224-0761


Skip to content