How to overcome a family history of substance abuse
Substance abuse disorder is a disease whose consequences affect both addicts and their families. If you have a family history of substance abuse, you might ask, is addiction hereditary?
This question can lead to a response that blends both genetics and behaviors learned in a home environment rife with substance abuse. The conclusion reached by various studies shows that hereditary background and family history of substance abuse, while not a guarantee for substance abuse development, increases your chances for the disorder.
A study  where severe alcohol dependence and related problems run high in certain families found that children born to alcoholic parents were more likely than others to become alcoholics themselves. This was especially true when both parents has a history of alcoholism.
Is addiction hereditary?
Although genes can make you more prone to addiction, the disease can be avoided by taking appropriate precautions. People can make positive decisions contrary to their family history of substance abuse. Thus, the answer to the question, ‘is addiction hereditary?’, is no.
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How to overcome a Family History of Substance Abuse
Growing up in a family with substance abuse can cause deep psychological and emotional scars. Consequences of family substance abuse aftermath can include a negative impact on one’s ability to process emotions or relate to others. It can also foster other negative behaviors and encourage certain risk factors that may lead to addiction in others within the household.
We know that people can overcome the cycle of multi-generational family addiction history.
Is addiction hereditary?
Steps to overcome a Family History of Substance Abuse
1. Ask for help.
When we have a family history like addiction, it can be wise to rely on professionals for guidance. Where you feel you are at risk for substance abuse disorder, look for help from professional therapists. An expert can help treat phycological scars and offer a science-based recovery process. Clinicians are best able to guide you to the education, coping and life skills needed to avoid addiction triggers.
2. Start to heal your wounds.
Growing up in a home affected by substance abuse can lead to several risk factors, including:
- A lack of attachment and nurturing by parents or caregivers.
- A caregiver who abuses drugs.
- A stunted emotional growth.
- Parents can neglect, mistreat or abuse their children.
These factors can affect a child’s behavior with physiological scars that negatively affect mental health. Some problems that children can develop are:
- Anxiety, depression, anger, or other psychological issues.
- Feelings as ashamed, angry, or sad about a parent’s substance abuse.
- Believes they have to behave like an adult before they are ready for it.
- Social anxiety.
- Finding hard to trust others or relax.
The healing process is primordial to address mental health issues and develop healthy ways to manage negative emotions. Counseling to help heal your wounds allows you to gain inner strength and have a deep reflection about yourself. You can remove emotional charges and develop a new perspective of life to help you stay clean.
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3. Be aware of addiction triggers.
Many people have similar emotional and underlying substance abuse triggers. Like most, you may find that stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional situations may trigger your coping with these triggers by abusing alcohol or drugs. It is essential to understand these triggers and to develop coping skills allowing healthier methods to manage them.
There are common substance abuse triggers like:
- Excessive stress.
- Overwhelming situations make you feel without control.
- Negative moods such as depression or anxiety.
- Financial troubles.
- Relationship issues.
- Problems at work.
- Studies pressure.
Keep in mind drugs and alcohol are not the solution but can cause more issues in your life. Learning stress and anxiety management strategies and other mindfulness techniques can help you avoid alcohol & drug use.
Remember it is okay to ask for substance abuse help if you feel overwhelmed.
4. Stay Connected with Others
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Surround yourself with people that care about you and give you positive reinforcement. Being well accompanied helps you keep improving, heal wounds, and stay motivated in your passions & recovery.
Pay attention to how people you consider your friends act in crucial circumstances. When you’re high and low, when you get a promotion or lose a job, enter a new relationship, or end one. Their first response will be their authentic one. To keep a healthy heart. You want to surround yourself with people on your team who will be solid like roots, not wavy like fall leaves.
5. Keep your doctor aware of your family history of substance abuse.
Some medications like prescription opioids can be a risk factor in persons with an addiction hereditary precondition. Informing your regular doctor about your family history of addiction can help ensure you receive appropriate treatments while reducing the risk to substance abuse or addiction relaspse.
You can also discuss whether you should consider a genetic test to predict your vulnerability to addiction. This test, known as the Genetic Addiction Risk Score, may help you understand your situation and make better decisions. Remember taking this test is a personal choice that should not be taken lightly. It is better to discuss the pros and cons with a medical expert to avoid needless worry.
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Is addiction hereditary? No, it doesn’t have to be
Remember you can always choose what you want for your life. Even with a family history of addiction, there are many steps you can take to improve your health. Trained medical behavioral professionals can guide you on how to construct a better future in spite of family addiction hereditary history.
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