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 it’s becoming more and more common for multiple family members to struggle with addiction, with the addictive behaviors almost passed from generation to generation. There’s evidence to show that if your parents or grandparents struggle with an addiction in their life, since you have their genes, you’re likely to inherit similar behaviors that caused them to struggle as well. Besides just our genetic history, the environments we’re exposed to as children play an extremely crucial role in our behavior later in life, when we’re adults. This includes whether or not we’re 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.
Our family helps shape us into who we are from a very young age. If we’re in an unhealthy environment with family members who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, unfortunately, the behavior or at least the mindframe of ‘that’s okay’ can get ingrained within us. Addiction is often a cycle through families, whether it’s from developing that positive attitude towards drug or alcohol use, or using it to compensate for not getting enough attention or care from family. The way we cope with negative home environments can be fuel for addiction later on in life.
Since there tends to be a negative stigma attached to addiction, it can be extremely hard for family members to confess to their loved ones that they need help, and so the behaviors continue, sometimes for decades. By the time they’re ready to get help at last, their children or even grandchildren are already struggling with their own addiction and problems, and so it continues to spiral downward through the family.
If several members of your family have or had an addiction in the past, it’s 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.
Addiction to drugs or alcohol can make it feel like your life is going no direction, and that you’re slowly losing hope for a better tomorrow, but recovery is possible. Sober living is one of the greatest things about being alive, and no matter your history or family’s past, you can achieve it. The Springboard Center is here to help you, but you have to make the call: 432-620-0255.