Are Addictions Genetic?

a representation of a dna strand to symbolize addiction genetics

Table of Contents

Learn From My Own Genetic Risk for Addiction Report

So first, a little bit about me. I’ve been in recovery for almost six years. I have a family history of addiction, primarily on my father’s side. I’m Hispanic and Northwestern European (German mostly).

I recently took an Ancestry DNA test and uploaded my genetic data to a service that gave me an insightful and overwhelming amount of information about my genetic makeup.

Here are the genes found in my DNA profile that gave me a high risk of addiction.

rs7963720(T; T)

Hispanics who carry this gene have a 14x higher risk of developing a heroin addiction.

rs3766951(A; A)

The genes of Caucasians who struggled with opioid/heroin addiction were studied. The rs3766951(A, A) gene showed a high association with opioid addiction. This study was not exhaustive but pointed to a correlation and is worthy of further study.

rs17584278(A;C)

The rs17584278(A; C) gene is associated with a high risk of nicotine addiction and lung cancer.

rs806377(C; T)

This gene has been shown in studies to come with a higher risk of developing ADHD, along with an increased risk of cocaine dependence in European Americans if other genes are present.

rs279845(A; T)

This gene expression is linked to the development of alcoholism. Additionally, cognitive dysfunction is a risk that is associated with carrying this gene.

rs2235749

This gene has significant associations with the development of cocaine or alcohol dependence. Additionally, it points to other risks such as heroin addiction.

Is there a specific gene for addiction?

No, there is not a specific gene for addiction. We could only wish that it would be that simple to pinpoint. Our genetics are already highly complex. The are several genes and gene combinations that predispose people toward addiction.
Even so, scientists continue to identify these genes and how they work together. This comes through the sum of information deciphered from individual studies. And specific genetic studies related to addiction.

Your Genes Are Not Just Working Against You

An important thing to remember is that while there are genes that put you at risk for the development of addiction, other genes are working in your favor.

For example, while 1/3 of my genes put me at high risk for developing diseases such as addiction, 3/4 of my genes have shown positive associations in studies. Also, it’s highly important to remember that not all studies are considered fully solid or reliable.

How Knowing Your Genetic Risk for Addiction Can Help You

Learning about your genes can give you a special insight into your specific triggers. For example, suppose you find in your DNA genetic makeup profile that stress is an issue for you due to several different gene expressions. In that case, you can focus intently on developing better stress-coping mechanisms.

If you learn that you may have ADHD-related addiction or cognitive dysfunction, you can focus on bettering your focus or finding an alternative treatment that’s proven to be effective.

However, remember! You’re not just the sum of the genes that you carry in your body. The course of your life does not need to be set in stone based on your genetics.

Addiction treatment programs exist to help you overcome those predispositions and replace addiction with healthy living in recovery.

What to Do if You’re Struggling with Addiction

If you’re struggling with addiction, you have to reach out for help. At the same time, it can seem as though the odds continue to stack against you. Whether from your genes, upbringing, and experiences, you must know that there is hope. It sounds cliche, but it’s true.

There is an amazing life to experience beyond the confines of addiction. Break the chains today by giving us a call at (888)906-0952 and getting a free consultation. There’s no obligation to be admitted, but we can help guide you in the right direction.

Related Topics


Susana Spiegel

Susana Spiegel

Susana has experience writing about addiction, treatment, mental health, and recovery. She holds a Bachelors in Arts of Theology from GCU, and has a deep empathy for those who are struggling with addiction, as she is in recovery herself.

Our website is supported by our users. Therefore, we often feature affiliate links throughout our website. If you click on those links, we may earn a commission.

Questions? Please email: content@abtrs.com

Begin your journey to addiction recovery.

Speak to a treatment admissions specialist now. 

Search Posts

Talk to a therapist online and get support right now.

As an affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase services through the links provided.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Get help and rebuild your life.

Recovery Starts Today

Drug and alcohol treatment is available for all financial situations. Private insurance, medicaid, medicare, no insurance, more. Call now!