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Is Family History Linked to Addiction in Women?

A depressed young woman lies in bed.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to 50% of your risk for drug or alcohol dependency is based on your unique genetic makeup. This raises questions for many women seeking answers on why they struggle with addiction. So is it true? Can addiction run in the family? Similar to environmental factors, your genetic disposition is considered to be another contributing factor that makes you more or less prone to addiction than other people.

In fact, experts believe that many mental illnesses, such as addiction, are linked to abnormalities in your genetic code. Exposing these genes to environmental factors such as stress, trauma, abuse or chemical substances sometimes triggers a mental illness in those who have inherited genetic susceptibility. There are many factors that can affect a child’s development of an addiction, such as their parents’ parenting styles and home life. More research is beginning to focus on the pathways that can help manage the link between family risk factors and substance abuse in women. 

How Genetics Affect a Woman’s Risk of Addiction

Think about your relatives, starting with your immediate family members. Are any of them currently struggling with addiction? Has anyone had a problem with drugs, alcohol or other substances in the past? If so, you may be likely to experience addiction yourself.

But what if you don’t know your family medical history very well? Because of the strong negative stigma of addiction, families sometimes hide addictions or brush them off. While it may be difficult for your family members to discuss this sensitive topic with you, don’t give up. Understanding your family’s history with drug or alcohol dependency can offer valuable new insight into your personal struggle with substance abuse.

Your Family History Does Not Define You

Our approach to addiction treatment for women is to provide gender-specific treatment for substance abuse. This allows women to focus on addressing the specific issues that contribute to their drug and alcohol abuse. Footprints Beachside Recovery is here to help you recover. Our holistic approach to addiction and recovery will help you identify and address problematic behavioral patterns, emotional issues, interpersonal difficulties, as well as any traumatic life events that could be contributing to your addictions.

When you’re ready to start, Footprints will be ready to help. Call us today and take the first step towards addiction recovery.

To read more from the National Institute of Drug Abuse – click here