There has been a longstanding debate of whether addiction arises from one’s environment or one’s genes. This debate is just as confounding as the one that involves mental illness; which is to blame? So far, a variety of studies have shown that it’s likely a mixture of both. However, each person’s story is different, making this not a one-size-fits-all case. Vishwajit Nimgaonkar, MD and psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, stated on Everyday Health,
“Most mental illness is probably due to some combination of inheritance and exposure.”
To answer this question, the Human Genome Project was established in 1990. Scientists conducted several different experiments to test the theory and see whether it was nature or nurture that came out on top. They were conflicted when they found that in their studies, most of the results represented a 50/50 split. However, latest research has shown that some mental illnesses are mostly genetic – mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for example, have been shown to have inherited genes for the most part; if either of your parents has one of these mental illnesses, you have a 40% to 50% chance of inheriting the disease.
When it comes to addiction, however, it could involve genetics as well as a person’s environment, lifestyle, upbringing, mental health, and demographics. In addition, having any genes in the family that make a person more susceptible to addiction doesn’t mean that person is destined to become addicted. For example, a person with genes that predispose them to addiction could very well remain sober their entire lives. Conversely, someone who has no trace of addiction in their family could struggle with addiction for most of their life.
There is still a constant debate with nature versus nurture, but what’s most important is seeking treatment. There are a variety of treatment programs available, with each one providing support and tools that are needed for long-term success in recovery.
If you’re seeking a mental health and/or substance abuse recovery treatment center, call us today at 855-412-2426. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. We have a variety of methods that we can try with you to see what works and will help you develop a customized treatment plan to best suit your needs. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority and call us for a consultation.