There are many types of drug abuse including such things as cocaine, heroin, crack and methamphetamines to name just a few. Every day, people from all walks of life struggle to stay away from their addictive habits. There is one question that you have to ponder with drug abuse. Is drug abuse genetic?
To find out more about this issue I visited the NationalInstituteonDrugAbuse to see what the consensus is regarding the genetic link to drug abuse. Scientists do believe that the two are definitely connected. They just aren’t sure how closely they are connected. One scientist believes that he may have pin pointed the defective gene that causes addiction in some people.
It must be understood that it isn’t just the genetics that scientists believe causes this problem. They believe that it is a mixture of both environment and the gene pool. I must agree that genetics plays some role in abuse. That is the only thing that explains why alcoholism and drug abuse run rampant on both sides of my family. Of course, the environmental issues are also clearly written across my family tree. That doesn’t mean that everyone in the family has addiction problems. It just makes us more likely to become addicted to something given half the chance.
Personally, I abhor drug use of any kind. I made a clear choice not to become addicted to drugs at a very early age. However, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen to me. It just means I didn’t allow it to happen. That adds an entirely different perspective on the drug abuse atmosphere. If I say I can control it, and I do, then how can it be genetics? It’s plain and simple really. If I allowed myself to do the drugs, I probably would become addicted. It is only because I recognize in other family members their addictions and knowing how easily I have gotten addicted to other things that I can stay away from the drug addiction.
Here is an example:
If I go to a casino and put a quarter in one of the machines, it doesn’t matter if I win or lose, I have an overwhelming urge to continue playing until I have nothing left. Even after that point, I still want to play and think of ways that I can get one more quarter. After all, that next quarter is the one that will be the big winner.
That’s how it is with drug addiction. You get one small high and then you can’t get rid of the urge to do it just one more time. The only difference between the sober me and my not so sober brother is that I said no. At some point in my life I made the decision not to do it. It doesn’t mean that if I decided I wanted a drink one day that I wouldn’t get addicted to it. It just means that I didn’t want to be out of control of my mind that often.
Fraternal twins and identical twins were tested by scientists and the discovery was that the identical twins answered the questions in much the same way as compared to the fraternal twins. Identical twins share the exact genes as compared to fraternal twins who share about half the same genes. Since the identical answers were about the same, this would suggest that the genes have a great deal to do with drug addiction.
It is believed that if the genes that cause drug addiction can be found, we will then be able to find a new and better way to treat drug addiction. It is of personal interest to me that they find the genes and find a way to target them and treat them. I have grandchildren now and would like to see them able to live a normal life without the fear of getting addicted to drugs or alcohol. Wouldn’t that make it such a wonderful world?