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Do Genetics Impact Addiction Recovery?

Do Genetics Impact Addiction Recovery?Both genetic and social factors influence addiction in Albuquerque. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that up to half of an individual’s risk of becoming addicted is genetic. Genetic factors may also play a role in addiction recovery.

How Genetic Factors May Affect Addiction Recovery Efforts in Albuquerque

Although research is limited a 2009 NIDA study on genetic factors involved in smoking cessation success may have implications for other addictions as well. The researchers studied 550 smokers who attempted to quit smoking through one of three types of therapies. Those who were successful differed from those who were not in a number of biological ways. Researchers were able to distinguish differences in 105 genes that varied between the two groups. They were also able to identify specific genes that may be related to the probability of success with given treatment methods.

Many of the genes identified by the NIDA research team as playing a part in addiction recovery were already known to contribute to the risk of addiction development. Many of the identified genes produce proteins that affect the hippocampus and other regions of the brain often altered by addiction. Others affect nerve cell development and functioning.

Genetic variations may affect personality traits, which then affect the addiction recovery process. A 2005 article in the journal Nature Neuroscience concluded that genetic factors may be at least partially responsible for attributes such as impulsivity, risk taking and responsiveness to stress. Each of those factors may affect an Albuquerque resident’s propensity for addiction and recovery.

What a Genetic Propensity toward Addiction Doesn’t Mean

Genetic tests to help determine the most effective addiction treatments for given individuals may be developed in the near future. In the meantime it is helpful to remember the following:

  • Genetics define propensities but not destinies. Many people with a genetic predisposition to develop addiction never do. Likewise, it may be more challenging for some people to recover from addiction, but challenging is not a synonym for impossible. Social and environmental factors are thought to make up at least 50% of a person’s risk for developing addiction, and it is likely that the same holds true for addiction recovery. When people choose to surround themselves with people who share the goal of their recovery and are supportive of the process, it can make a big difference in the outcome.
  • Even without genetic tests people can make reasonable guesses about genetic factors by observing others in their family. If an addicted individual had success with one particular treatment method, it is not a guarantee that it will work for others in the family, but it may be a logical place to start.
  • If one treatment method was not successful for a given individual, that fact does not mean another one will not be. Genetic factors may affect responsiveness to different types of treatment.

While genetics do not determine recovery success, considering genetic factors can certainly aid in the recovery process.

You Can Overcome Addiction

You can overcome addiction, regardless of your family history or genetic inheritance. Give us a call and let us help you find a treatment program that is right for you. We are available around the clock and can answer your questions about addiction, how genetics affect addiction and addiction treatment options. We can even check your insurance coverage if you wish. Call now and begin the journey of recovery.