What to Do If Drug or Alcohol Abuse Runs In Your Family

Are you one of your parents or a person in your family who had to deal with alcohol or drug addiction? Do you notice yourself showing similar patterns and behavior that could indicate a problem? Learn what might result in a larger issue prior to following the footsteps of others.

Genetic Factors

Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), “as as much as 50% of the chance of someone developing a dependence on alcohol, nicotine or any other drug is based on the genetic constitution.” It’s not an actual “life sentence” in the sense of a sentence however it’s something to take note of.

In the event that you’ve a parent with a past or present substance abuse or a predisposition to abuse or misuse substances or alcohol, the odds don’t stack up against you. This doesn’t mean that you’re already predisposed to addiction issues on your own but it could be a sign of an increased risk of addiction. This is important, possibly lifesaving information that you can utilize to your advantage should you’re having difficulty. Being aware can help you stay in control.

Family Habits and Accepted Behaviour

If children are raised in a world that is prone to substance abuse in their lives, it could appear “normal” or something they’ve become used to. Adults who live in these circumstances might not be aiming to influence younger generations to follow their example. But, the examples they provide are powerful even without any forceful pressure or persuasive methods.

The early exposure to drugs and alcohol and the lack of guidelines and laws, stressful homes, and the absence of accountability, responsibility and structure could lead to issues later on as the child grows older. The behavior could be a part with family dynamics when children reach adulthood. While it is not considered to be dangerous, as addiction is affect different families, the behavior could not cause the same amount of worry.

If you suspect that your family’s habits are unstable, unhealthy or put your life at risk, get aid outside of your family by seeking counseling. It is essential to consider your health before you assist family members in addressing their own and collective issues.

Triggers And Temptations

Certain circumstances, events or emotional states can cause people to turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope. There is also the possibility of joy in the absence of inhibitions.

From boredom to joy to stress could trigger an addict or a person who is inclined to drink alcohol or drugs to indulge. An innate curiosity or a desire to be accessible could be enough to lead you in this direction. Self-medicating for anxiety and depression may appear like the only way to stay alive. There’s also peer pressure, that may arise within families, which can lead to bad choices and having nobody to count on for safety or help.


Be prepared and proactive. If you’re concerned that you might be heading towards similar directions as your family member who has struggled (or is currently fighting) the addiction to alcohol or drugs be sure to address your concerns immediately. The smallest hint that your lifestyle or habits have a negative impact on your health or wellbeing is enough reason to seek assistance.

You can speak to a counselor, your doctor, or a trusted friend or family member that you could confide in. Recognizing the issue is a crucial element to establish the foundation for sobriety.

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