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Is There an Addictive Gene

Is Drug Addiction Genetic?

Does Addiction Run in Your Genes? Is drug addiction genetic? Why do some people become addicted while others don’t? Family studies that include identical twins, fraternal twins, adoptees, and siblings suggest that as much as half of a person’s risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs depends on his or her genetic makeup or inherited traits. Finding the biological basis for this risk is an important avenue of research for scientists trying to solve the problem of drug addiction. The risk of developing drug and alcohol problems is higher in children whose parents abuse alcohol or drugs—but it is NOT a guarantee. Research shows that children with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to try alcohol or drugs and develop alcoholism or drug addiction. Why? Children whose parents abuse alcohol and drugs are more likely to have behavioral problems, which increases the risk of trying alcohol or drugs. They are also exposed to more opportunities to try these substances. Plus, children of parents who abuse drugs may inherit a genetic predisposition (or greater likelihood) for addiction—having an “addictive personality,” so to speak. Is drug addiction genetic? Most children of parents who abuse alcohol or drugs do not develop alcoholism or…