Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress and parental guidance can greatly affect a person's likelihood of using drugs and becoming addicted to them. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical stages in the development of the life of a person to affect the risk of addiction. The link between genetics and addiction remains a topic of strong debate. Reports have found that between 40 and 60% of the predisposition to addiction is the result of genetics and, in addition, that children of people with an addiction are 25% more likely to also develop an addiction compared to children of non-addicted parents.
Researchers are actively searching for an addiction gene, but it seems more likely that family tendencies toward addiction are the result of environmental factors such as exposure and the normalization of drug use. The parenting argument is also relevant to addiction. While genetic predisposition is possible, although it hasn't been conclusively determined, the environment in which we grew up and in which we continue to thrive has an enormous impact on mental and physical well-being and is therefore a major cause of addiction. So far we have discussed several genetic, environmental and social influences that may contribute to the causes of addiction, but we cannot ignore the role that the brain and body play in the disease of addiction.
Every time you eat, have sex, or participate in any activity that contributes to survival, your brain is flooded with dopamine. The most common roots of addiction are chronic stress, a history of trauma, mental illness, and a family history of addiction. Understanding how these substances can lead to chronic substance abuse and addiction will help you reduce your risk of becoming an addict. Here we'll discuss addiction and its roots, and discuss practical ways in which you can reduce your risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction.