Open Accessibility Menu
If I'm Addicted, Do I Need to Worry About My Children Developing an Addiction?

If I'm Addicted, Do I Need to Worry About My Children Developing an Addiction?

Silver Ridge Recovery

Many conditions and diseases have a genetic component and tend to run in families, and addiction is a good example. Some families are ravaged by the disease, and multiple generations may struggle with substance abuse.

If there’s a history of substance abuse in your family, or if you struggle with substance abuse yourself, there is a higher risk of your children developing a similar problem with drugs or alcohol. The hereditary aspect of addiction increases the risk of children of addicted parents developing the disease themselves, and growing up in an environment where substance abuse is present can also make offspring more susceptible to developing an addiction at some point in their lives.

However, having a parent who battled addiction doesn’t mean a child is doomed to repeat history. In this article, we’ll explore the role of genetics in addiction and discuss how to break the vicious cycle.

A Disease That Spans Generations

It’s not uncommon for families to suffer from what’s known as generational addiction. One study found that over 80 million adults in the United States were either married to someone with alcoholism, had a family member with alcoholism or grew up in a home with alcoholic parents. Other research suggests that children who have a parent with a substance abuse problem have a fourfold greater risk of developing a substance use disorder themselves.

Why does this cycle of addiction continue within families when treatment is available that works? Children who come from a home affected by addiction may feel embarrassed or even ashamed of their situation, and they may hesitate to seek help. Without the necessary professional help, it’s easy for addiction to end up impacting multiple generations of a family.

The Genetic Factor

Genetics play a significant role in the development of addiction, with some research showing that up to 60 percent of an individual’s risk for addiction can be traced to genetics. While certain genetic factors can undoubtedly increase the risk of addiction, the environment a person grows up in also plays a part. Living in a household where substance abuse was present can impact a child’s attitude toward drinking and drug use, and growing up in an unstable environment can also leave a child more susceptible to addiction.

Breaking the Cycle

Despite the genetic link, addiction doesn’t have to be a child’s destiny, even if their parent struggled with substance abuse. The most effective way to break the cycle of substance abuse within a family is to abstain from drinking and drug use. If you believe your family has a risk of addiction that is higher than average, then complete abstinence is the safest choice.

If you’re experiencing active addiction, a high-quality treatment center can help you begin to heal and make a fresh start for you and your family. During treatment, you’ll learn more about how addiction works, and you’ll begin to understand the impact that your genetic makeup and family environment had on your own addiction.

Your children’s risk of addiction might be higher if either of their parents or another immediate family member struggles with substance abuse. However, it’s possible for them to avoid developing an addiction themselves. With the knowledge that their risk of addiction may be higher, they can take steps to avoid developing a substance use disorder or seek treatment.



Focus, Healing, and Recovery

Life at Silver Ridge is purposely designed to provide the safest and most restorative healing environment on the East Coast. If you would like to learn more about Silver Ridge or begin addiction treatment today, please call (855) 945-7788 or fill out the form and one of our admissions staff will be in touch with you soon.

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Sivermist
    Sivermist Sivermist

    Offering luxury residential treatment at a private residence in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.

  • REAL Recovery
    REAL Recovery REAL Recovery

    Providing high-quality, adventure-based and personalized care with four sober homes for men ages 18-28 in Asheville, North Carolina.

  • High Focus Centers
    High Focus Centers High Focus Centers

    The premier provider of structured outpatient behavioral health and addiction treatment programs in New Jersey.

  • Rehab After Work
    Rehab After Work Rehab After Work

    The leading provider of outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs in Pennsylvania.

  • Pyramid Healthcare Inc
    Pyramid Healthcare Inc Pyramid Healthcare Inc

    A premier provider of behavioral healthcare founded in 1999 offering a full continuum of recovery services for adults and teens at 24 locations in PA.

  • The light program
    The light program The light program

    Treating individuals in crisis or struggling to function through mental health Intensive Outpatient programs at locations in southeastern Pennsylvania.

  • Seeds of hope
    Seeds of hope Seeds of hope

    Providing specialized Intensive Outpatient eating disorder treatment for teens and adults in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP
    Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP

    Providing comprehensive Employee Assistance Program services to employers nationwide.

  • Mazzitti & Sullivan
    Mazzitti & Sullivan Mazzitti & Sullivan

    Providing behavioral health services in central Pennsylvania since 1983, now operating five different locations.

  • Tapestry
    Tapestry Tapestry

    Tapestry Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

  • Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare
    Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare

    Serving the Atlanta, Georgia area adolescents and adults suffering from Mood Disorders.

  • October Road Inc
    October Road Inc October Road Inc

    Serving the Asheville, North Carolina area with high-quality mental health and substance abuse treatment since 2006.

  • Walden
    Walden Walden

    Offering treatment & support options in Southern Maryland for those struggling with addiction and mental health.