Teenage Addiction Affects The Family
The CDC reports underaged drinkers have more drinks per drinking occasion than their adult counterparts. At least 19% of individuals between 12 and 20 years old drink alcohol regularly due to underreporting, the figure is most likely much higher. use is more common in teens than cigarette smoking. Teenagers deal with peer pressure in school and are also constantly bombarded with temptation.
Many are still impressionable while forming their identity. Additionally, teens who have experienced parental substance abuse are more likely to abuse substances in adulthood. Teenage addiction stems from both external factors and internal factors .
Substances like Cocaine can over-stimulate teens, causing to them sleep less and perform poorly in school. Opioids may produce euphoric effects, but consequently require frequent use with damaging side effects.
When one member is addicted, the family as a whole can be negatively impacted by phenomena such as:
- Side effects
Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Pathological Gambling Runs In Families
A University of Iowa study confirms that pathological gambling runs in families and shows that first-degree relatives of pathological gamblers are eight times more likely to develop this problem in their lifetime than relatives of people without pathological gambling.
Our work clearly shows that pathological gambling runs in families at a rate higher than for many other behavioral and psychiatric disorders, says Donald W. Black, psychiatry professor at the UI. I think clinicians and health care providers should be alerted to the fact that if they see a person with pathological gambling, that person is highly likely to have a close relative with similar or the same problem. That is a teaching moment and they should probably encourage the patient to let their relatives know that help is available.
Pathological gamblinggambling that is serious enough that it becomes a clinical issueis a major public health problem that affects between 0.5 and 1.5 percent of American adults at some point during their lives.
The UI study, which was the largest of its kind to date, recruited and assessed 95 pathological gamblers and 91 control subjects, matched for age, sex, and level of education, from Iowa, as well as 1,075 first-degree adult relatives of the study participants Based on interviews and proxy interview material, the research team determined a gambling diagnosis for every person in the study.
What Is The Best Way To Deal With Addiction Within Your Family
While you are in the depths of addiction within your family, it can feel almost impossible to imagine a life that looks different. However, the good news is that it is possible to overcome the impact of addiction and alcoholism as a family. Best of all, no one in your family needs to struggle through the detrimental effects that come from addiction.
But just what can you do, and what tools are available to your family?
Get support, and get help through addiction and recovery programs, family and individual therapy, and support groups.
Dont play the blame game. This can be easy to do when a younger sibling starts to mimic an older siblings behavior. Now is not the time to judge, take a hard line, or leave your troubled teens feeling alone with their struggles.
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Child Abuse And Addiction
A dangerous environment can put children at risk for addiction, and multiple studies indicate children whose parents abuse drugs are at an increased risk for neglect and abuse.
53% of teenage runaways say problematic drinking was present at home.
People who have suffered from a history of abuse, neglect, trauma or other harmful childhood experiences are at a much greater risk for addiction, Feinstein told DrugRehab.com.
In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Psychological Medicine, researchers determined physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical neglect increased the likelihood of a person developing alcoholism later in life. The findings were independent of family history and gender factors.
Children who suffer from child abuse often try to mask the emotional pain they feel with drugs and alcohol, which in turn increases their chances for addiction.
Addiction In Families Statistics
Alcoholism and drug addiction have both genetic and environmental causes. More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, and nearly 11 million of those are under the age of 18.
Here are some statistics regarding addiction in families:
- Children of addicts are eight times more likely to develop an addiction.
- A 1985 study suggests a strong genetic component, particularly for the onset of alcoholism in males. Sons of alcoholic fathers are four times more likely to become alcoholics.
- The use of substances by parents and their adolescent children is strongly correlated. Generally, if parents use drugs, sooner or later their children will as well.
- Children who use drugs are more likely to have one or more parents who also use drugs.
- Children of addicted parents experience greater physical and mental health problems and higher health and welfare costs than do children from non-addicted families.
- A child who perceives that a parent is more permissive about the use of drugs is more likely to use drugs themselves.
- A relationship between parental addiction and child abuse has been documented in a large proportion of child abuse and neglect cases.
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Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Addiction is no longer something that has to hidden or ashamed of. There is treatment and hope. Many people have reached for addiction treatment and have changed their lives. There are many addiction treatment options including self-help groups and out-patient or in-patient addiction rehab.
You have already taken the first step towards addiction treatment. You have asked the question, Do I have an addiction? Take the next step and change your life. Ask for help, learn addiction recovery skills, develop relapse prevention skills so that you dont have to continue to suffer.
The Role Of The Environment In Diseases Like Addiction
That old saying “nature or nurture” might be better phrased “nature and nurture” because research shows that a person’s health is the result of dynamic interactions between genes and the environment. For example, both genetics and lifestyle factorssuch as diet, physical activity, and stressaffect high blood pressure risk. NIDA research has led to discoveries about how a person’s surroundings affect drug use in particular.
For example, a community that provides healthy after-school activities has been shown to reduce vulnerability to drug addiction, and data show that access to exercise can discourage drug-seeking behavior, an effect that is more pronounced in males than in females.1-3
Studies suggest that an animal’s drug use can be affected by that of its cage mate,4, 5 showing that some social influences can enhance risk or protection. In addition, exposure to drugs or stress in a person’s social or cultural environment can alter both gene expression and gene function, which, in some cases, may persist throughout a persons life. Research also suggests that genes can play a part in how a person responds to his or her environment, placing some people at higher risk for disease than others.
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When Addiction Runs In The Family
The pedigrees above show affected people in red and unaffected in white.
Substance use disorder often runs in families. Thats because there is an inherited component, meaning it can pass from parent to child by way of genes. For this reason, your family history offers clues about how vulnerable to addiction you might be. For example, if you have a close relative thats affected, its a clue to be extra careful.
Researchers use family histories too. They compare DNA sequences of family members to identify genes involved in addiction. First, they divide the family into two groups: affected and unaffected.
Next, the researchers look for segments of chromosomes that are more common in affected people compared to unaffected. They narrow the segments down to specific genes to study further. Because people have complex and varied lives, in-depth studies are often done using animals in a controlled lab setting.
Why Addictions Can Run In Families
Addiction is a complicated disease that affects each person differently. No two people will have the same exact struggles through their life with addiction, but its becoming more and more common for multiple family members to struggle with addiction, with the addictive behaviors almost passed from generation to generation. Theres evidence to show that if your parents or grandparents struggle with an addiction in their life, since you have their genes, youre likely to inherit similar behaviors that caused them to struggle as well. Besides just our genetic history, the environments were exposed to as children play an extremely crucial role in our behavior later in life, when were adults. This includes whether or not were exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age, or other risky behavior that could lead to drug use, or even if we endure abuse of any kind. Not everyone who is exposed to these kinds of things will grow up and struggle with addiction, but a large majority will struggle with some kind of addiction in their life, whether drugs or alcohol or an addictive behavior.
If several members of your family have or had an addiction in the past, its important to keep your own behavior under close watch. Picking up habits, especially from family, without realizing it, can easily happen- even habits that reinforce addiction.
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Predisposed Does Not Mean Predestined
It is important to note that just because a person has family members who struggle with addiction and/or was raised in an area with high rates of drug use and easy accessibility to substances, it is not a given that the end result will be a personal battle with addiction. What a genetic predisposition means is that someone has a higher risk of developing an addiction should they use drugs and alcohol in large amounts and/or regularly. That is, it may be harder to stop if they start use of addictive substances and/or they may experience far more gripping withdrawal symptoms should they try to quit.
Additionally, the response to drug use may be different for people based on their genetic makeup. This means that one person who uses a certain substance may feel ill when they do so, causing them to be disinterested in continuing use. Others may feel good instead, triggering the pleasure pathway and reward system in the brain and causing them to crave that feeling early on in use.
Tips To Avoid Alcoholism When It Runs In The Family
If alcohol use disorders run in your family, you may want to be careful about your drinking or limit it. Remember that a combination of environmental factors and genetic predispositions lead to alcohol use disorders. So, there are various things you can control in your environment to try to avoid developing a problem. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans consider moderate drinking to be no more than 2 drinks for men and 1 for women per day.14 Staying within those limitations, or possibly avoiding alcohol intake altogether, may be a good idea.14 If you are a parent trying to prevent or delay your childs alcohol use, some strategies include:15
- Sharing developmentally appropriate information and education about the dangers of alcohol use and your family history.
- Keeping track of how your child spends their time and recommending alcohol-free activities.
- Setting family rules that include abstaining from alcohol use.
- Helping your child develop skills like problem-solving, communication, and listening.
- Building your childs confidence and sense of responsibility through youth leadership programs and the observation of older role models.
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Is Addiction A Disease
Addiction is like most major diseases. Consider heart disease, the leading cause of death in the developed world. Its partly due to genes and partly due to poor life style choices such as bad diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. The same is true for other common diseases like adult-onset diabetes. Many forms of cancers are due to a combination of genes and life style. But if your doctor said that you had diabetes or heart disease, you wouldnt think you were bad person. You would think, What can I do to overcome this disease? That is how you should approach addiction.
Addiction is not a weakness. The fact that addiction crosses all socio-economic boundaries confirms that addiction is a disease. People who dont know about addiction will tell you that you just need to be stronger to control your use. But if that was true then only unsuccessful people or unmotivated people would have an addiction, and yet 10% of high-functioning executives have an addiction.
If you think of addiction as a weakness, youll paint yourself into a corner that you cant get out of. Youll focus on being stronger and trying to control your use, instead of treating addiction like a disease and focusing on stopping your use.
What Is Your Family History
Most people dont know their family history of addiction very well. Most families dont talk about addiction. Not too long ago you could have a raging alcoholic in your family and nobody would talk about it. Or they would make some quaint remark like, Oh he drinks a little too much. There was so little people could do about addiction before that there was no point in talking about it.
But now that you can do something about addiction, a family history is worth talking about. Once you stop using and tell your family that youre in recovery, thats often when they will tell you about the family secrets. Thats when family members will sometimes come out of the closet and tell you their stories.
Let your coping skills be the legacy you pass on to your children. Dont let your genes be the only legacy you pass on to your children. Your children are more likely to have an addiction because of your addiction. But their genes dont have to be their destiny. You can help your children lead happy lives by teaching them healthy coping skills by being an example with your recovery.
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Find Support Online Or In Your Community
People with addiction in the family experience a range of emotions, including isolation, like no one else understands the struggle it can be to deal with addiction in the family. It is not easy, but know that you are not alone. There are thousands of families who are facing similar challenges. Someone out there understands what you are going through.
Look for virtual or local Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings. Both organizations bring people together who are managing living with and loving someone who has a substance use disorder. The gatherings can provide insight, tools, strategies, fellowship, and understanding for people who are also experiencing their own changes as a result of someone elses addiction.
Overall, it is important to remember that ultimately, we are a product of our choices and decisions. Many people who abuse and become addicted to substances likely did not intend for the outcome they now face, but there is help for everyone affected by addiction who wants it or needs it.
If you or someone you care about is seeking help to overcome substance addiction, The Palm Beach Institute welcomes you to speak with us about addiction treatment that is designed to help everyone in the family. We have been helping people recover from addiction since 1970, and 50 years later, we are still providing high-quality addiction care and treatment that can help people leave addiction behind for better days ahead.
Addiction Is A Family Disease
Even if a person grows up in an environment with family members who use addictive substances and does not go on to use them themselves, they could still develop emotional and mental health challenges as a result of living in an environment or being around people who struggle with the disease, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration .
Families with alcohol and drug problems usually have high levels of stress and confusion. High-stress family environments are a risk factor for early and dangerous substance use, as well as mental and physical health problems, it writes.
But many people do follow in a family members footsteps and start abusing drugs and alcohol. Some people who misuse substances can trace their habits back to someone in their family who did the same thing, or they may not understand where their addiction comes from.
Either way, they are on a path where they can harm themselves in every way possible, including overdosing on a substance, which can permanently injure them or lead to their death.
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Living With An Alcoholic Family Member
Alcoholism is frequently called a family disease, and this is for many complex reasons. Living with an alcoholic can have negative consequences for the entire family. The person addicted to alcohol may have unpleasant symptoms when they drink:
- Become so preoccupied with their addiction that they cant dedicate time to their spouse and children
- Act aggressive, dishonest or violent, making them difficult to get along with
- Experience negative impacts on their finances, work, school and other commitments, which can impact the people close to the alcoholic
These environmental factors are only part of the full picture. The interaction between alcoholism and genetics can impact whether or not a family member also becomes an alcoholic.