How Can I Know If Addiction Runs In My Family?

Addiction is a serious problem in our society, affecting millions of people each year. It can be difficult to understand how addiction runs in your family if you are not struggling with it firsthand. Many different factors contribute to whether or not someone will become addicted to drugs, but one thing is for sure: the earlier addiction starts, the more likely they will struggle with this issue their whole life. Below are ways to know if addiction runs in your family.

1. Look at your family history
One of the easiest ways to know if addiction runs in your family is to look up your own family history. If you see many people from previous generations dying from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or other widespread ailments, it might be worth seeing if there are any addictions present. Also, take a few minutes to ask your parents about their past and listen carefully for any signs of drug or alcohol use or problems surrounding this issue.

2. See what addictions run in your side of the family
If you do not remember much about the personal lives of members on your mother’s side of the family and you never hear stories about them when she talks, consider taking some time to sit down with her and go over their lives in detail. You may also want to ask about any issues or problems that you hear about in the future, such as addiction. If it seems like a lot of her family struggled with one specific issue, it might be worth discussing this with other people who knew them growing up and seeing if they noticed anything strange.

3. Examine your behavior
If you are struggling with substance abuse, observe yourself very carefully over the next couple of months to ensure no addictive patterns run in your family history. Alternatively, if you do not think you have ever had an addiction but notice some signs within someone else close to you (such as obsessive drug use or taking pills), consider digging into what caused these habits to start and take note of how this person acts when they are struggling with their addiction. Also, pay attention to the presence of family members who also struggle with addiction and see what similarities you can find between your behavior and theirs throughout various stages of sobriety.

4. Look at younger generations
If you have children or young cousins close to your age, take note of their behaviors around drugs and alcohol when they are teenagers. If you notice a lot of them experimenting in some way or another during this stage in life, it may be worth pursuing this subject further with the parents to make sure that they will not develop an addiction later on in life. In addition, if any relatives come from a broken home, were raised by someone other than a parent, or are not close to their parents, they are likely to start experimenting at a younger age. If you see these situations present in younger generations of your family, make sure that you are aware of any potential problems surrounding addiction and work hard to avoid them as well.

5. Look for the signs of addiction
Recognizing the signs of addiction is one very important step to take if you want to know if addiction runs in your family. Look out for common addictive patterns such as using drugs or alcohol no matter what happens throughout the day, finding it difficult to stay away from this substance once they start relying on it, stealing money or other possessions just so they can have enough for their next fix, being absent from social gatherings because of drug use, and always feeling like they need to get high. Any of these signs or similar ones, such as drugs and alcohol starting to take up a large part of their life, should be brought up with someone close to the person who is struggling because it could indicate an addiction problem.

6. Inquire about mental health
People with substance abuse problems often struggle with other routines, which can include wondering why they cannot stop (addiction), feeling depressed or upset, and having feelings of paranoia and isolation from others around them due to drug use. If you notice any of these issues surrounding somebody you know who struggles with addiction, consider taking some time to discuss what may have caused this person’s behavior and how it could potentially affect them later on in life.

Does any member of your family battle a serious addiction problem? If so, it is important to know what triggers the addiction and how you can help them stop taking drugs. If you are unsure how to approach this touchy subject, consider consulting your family doctor, who can suggest some strategies for helping out an addicted relative. If you are suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, please call us at 833-820-2922 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to answer any questions you might have about your treatment options.