Chemical addiction brings about countless stresses and concerns. However, one of the biggest fears persons with such dependencies might possess is that their children will one day inherit this behavior. Those harboring such trepidation might also wonder if they can prevent such unfavorable outcomes.
Addiction And Heredity
Researchers maintain that drug dependency can be an inherited condition. Said medical professionals also believe that the problem is multi-pronged.
Certain facets of the scientific community suggest that addiction might result from faulty genetic expression, which might render the body or mind more likely to gravitate to chemical reliance.
Other researchers believe that the problem might be a byproduct of other potentially hereditary mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often abbreviated simply as ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety issues, and depression. In many instances, afflicted subjects attempt to cope with these problems through drug use.
That said, yet another faction of scientific investigators argue that environment can result in addiction being passed from one generation to the next. Parents exercise a major influence over their children’s behaviors and attitudes.
Ergo, youths growing up in households where alcohol or substance usage is undertaken or accepted often formulate the belief that such actions are proper or normal. In turn, they develop the same bad habits that might ultimately result in addiction.
Steps Adults Can Take From Passing Down Addiction
Parents stricken with addiction might not always be able to prevent their children from contracting the disease. However, they might greatly reduce a youngster’s risk through actions such as:
Embracing And Achieving Sobriety
Arguably, the most important action an addict parent can take is to attain sobriety. Granted, said goal is easier said than done. However, if the parent’s ultimate aim is to try and prevent their children from making similar mistakes of falling prey to detrimental activities, the journey is worth the reward.
Creating A Substance-Free Home
Limiting temptation is a crucial aspect of maintaining sobriety while encouraging other family members to respect and protect their own. Few actions prove more valuable than ridding the home of any potentially dangerous enticements such as alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia.
Promote Optimal Habits
Former or recovering addicts might reduce their children’s chances of falling into chemical dependency by promoting a healthy lifestyle. Many medical professionals and addiction specialists stress that one major key to achieving and holding onto one’s sobriety lies in adopting optimal habits including:
- Consuming a nutritious and balanced diet
- Obtaining at least eight to nine hours of restful sleep each evening
- Partaking in productive and mind-stimulating endeavors
- Engaging in physical activity
- Remaining adequately hydrated
- Avoiding unnecessary stressors
Additionally, recovering dependents should not replace a substance addiction with overindulgence in other potentially detrimental avenues such as food, cigarettes, sex, shopping, or gambling.
Associate With The Right People
One might curb a youth’s risk of dependency by associating with solid, upstanding citizens. Everyone had heard some variation of the expression that an individual’s reputation is often built upon the company they keep.
Therefore, recovering addicts are implored to avoid interactions with unscrupulous subjects with addictions or other disagreeable tendencies. They should instead associate with and inspire their children to relate to persons who respect the law, treat others with decency and dignity, and, above all, stay out of trouble.
Typically, children respect parents that establish rules. Therefore, recovering addicts are urged to adopt rules governing the activities their offspring can participate in, the friends they can readily associate with, the places they can visit, and the times they can be away from home. Such guidelines help young people respect authority and achieve some level of structure, organization, and balance.
Bring The Issue To The Forefront
Conceivably, however, the most important step one can take is to openly discuss the issue. Addition is often a taboo subject that many would rather ignore or sugarcoat. That said, engaging in such action may convince youths that dependency is acceptable or that the problem will simply go away.
Recovering parents should not be ashamed of their past proclivities. Rather, they should use their former dependency as a teaching opportunity and the chance to impart the lessons they learned and warn them of the associated dangers.
Reaching Out To Us
The highly skilled, well-versed, patient-minded team of dependency specialists working for our Jersey shore facility understands how difficult discussing addiction with youths can be. For suggestions on how to have these sensitive conversations, please consult with us at 833-610-1174.