Posted on February 22, 2012 in Addiction
When dealing with a loved one’s addiction illness, this question is inevitable: why did my loved one become addicted, when I didn’t? What made them become an addict, when their coworkers, spouse, or other family members haven’t succumbed to the same disease?
The answer is complex and multi-layered, as a variety of factors can come into play throughout someone’s life. These factors include genetics, upbringing, age of introduction to their addiction, social pressure, and overall mental state. There are millions of adults affected by the disease of addiction and each person’s situation is different.
The first of these factors, genetics, is the one that is under the least control, wildly unpredictable, and hard to pin down, especially because it usually overlaps with the issue of upbringing; the people from whom you get your genetics usually raise you. The son of an alcoholic may never touch a drop of liquor in his life, while the same alcoholic’s daughter may suffer the same illness as her father. This could stem from a genetic predisposition or the impact of their experiences in that environment (the son rebels against alcoholism, while the daughter incorporates it into her own life). More than likely, it’s both.