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Stepaway News Blog

Are you vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction?

The latest research in the neurobiology of addiction points to genetics as a major component of the addiction process.

One example is the deficiency in the gene that is responsible for the D2 subtype of the Dopamine Receptor. 

The deficiency acts to make the individual less receptive to the natural ‘feel-good’ effects of Dopamine.

Instead individuals may actively seek our pleasure / reward effects in substance abuse which compensates for this deficiency.

Individuals with the deficiency exhibit a stronger preference for and increased consumption of alcohol.

The deficiency has also been implicated in the propensity to use Cocaine.

Another aspect of genetic predisposition relates to more individual aspects that predispose some individuals towards experimentation with drugs, continued use of drugs, addictions, and potential for relapse.

The above relates to the evolutionary advantages of association between pleasure and reward to certain behaviours.

One scientific viewpoint of addiction is that is it literally hard-wired into our brains.

And individual personality types of impulsivity, reward-seeking, and response to stress, may lead to increased vulnerability to addiction. 

It has been estimated that 40-60% of the vulnerability to developing an addiction is due to genetics.

Does this mean that we should be able to blame our parents?

Unfortunately, your parents may be as much victims of their own genetic material as you are. One must also be aware that genetics is not the only factor, nor may it be the determining factor.

Modern therapies point to a three factor standard for vulnerability to drug addiction: genetic factors, environmental factors, and repeated exposure to drug or alcohol abuse.

Despite the fact that a a genetic predisposition may make us vulnerable to addictive behaviour, recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is not only possible, but desirable if we want to make sure that our children do not fall into the same trap.

We are a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, equipped with an in-patient and an out- patient programme, and we are able to treat all types and levels of addiction.

Contact us in confidence to discuss how we can help you or your loved one live a sober life.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.

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