Predisposition is a term that is used often throughout the medical field. Being predisposed to cancer or heart disease, for instance, simply means that one has genetic, environmental and other factors that may increase one’s risk of developing these diseases at some point in one’s life. Being predisposed to drug and alcohol abuse is much the same thing. Those who have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse and who face certain other barriers may be at a higher risk for becoming dependent themselves.
The risk for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol carries about a 50 percent higher risk due to genetic predisposition. This means that those who have someone else in their immediate family who has become addicted at some point have a 50 percent higher risk factor for developing an addiction. Numerous studies have confirmed this fact as well as the fact that poor coping skills are also to blame for many addictions.
Children who have parents who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol are eight times more likely to face addictions themselves throughout their lives. When a parent has an addiction, their children are much more likely to have addictions as well. Although everyone in the world could face addiction at some point, those who are predisposed face a higher risk. Some people are so predisposed to alcohol addiction for instance that they may abuse alcohol from the very beginning while others may simply begin as moderate drinkers and then develop alcoholism at a later date.
It is important to understand however that being predisposed to addiction does not mean that this addiction cannot be overcome. Genetic makeup does not necessarily mean that addiction is in a person’s destiny. There are other factors that contribute to drug and alcohol abuse and learning more about these factors as well as your own predisposing risks can help you to overcome addiction and even avoid it in the first place.
Those who are predisposed and who have succumbed to alcohol or drug addictions can also overcome those addictions. Therapy is key in overcoming any addiction and a good rehabilitation program can mean all the difference to someone who is dependent on drugs or alcohol, even those who have very high risk factors for addiction through genetic or environmental makeup.
There are a number of risks that can cause addiction, many more than simply having a parent or someone else in the family who is addicted. While genetic predisposition is a major factor, it is not the only factor and again, those who are addicted can work to overcome this addiction and go on to lead perfect normal lives without dependency on drugs or alcohol.
Anyone who has a predisposition to dependency needs to better understand this genetic factor as well as the other factors that can cause addiction. Illness, trauma, major life changes and other factors can all play a part in addiction. Having a predisposed risk to becoming an addict is something that can be overcome with the right treatment and a better understanding of these risks.