Drug addiction is a complex problem with a variety of causes.  Scientific studies have found that family genetics and the home environment both play a critical role in determining whether an individual is at risk for drug addiction.  An individual’s family background also can determine the best form of treatment for addiction – inpatient drug rehab or outpatient counseling.

The Genetics of Addiction

Research into the rate of alcoholism and drug addiction among adoptees has shown that the biological offspring of substance abusing parents are up to 9 times more likely to become substance abusers.  This includes the abuse of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine as well as prescription sedatives and stimulants.  The fact that adoptees grow up away from their biological parents points to a genetic link to alcoholism and drug addiction.

In addition to the genetic factor, mothers who are substance abusers during pregnancy expose their children to neurological damage and birth defects that can impair cognitive functions.  Children whose mother’s are addicted to drugs at the time of their birth often go through drug withdrawal in the first days of life.  They are more vulnerable to future addiction and more likely to require inpatient drug rehab if they become drug abusers.  They are also more vulnerable to psychiatric problems like depression, anxiety and traumatic stress disorder.

Environmental Factors

Children who grow up in a home where parents or siblings abuse drugs are more likely to become drug abusers as teenagers and adults, especially when the parents have a permissive attitude about drug use.  Living in a community where crime and poverty are prevalent and where educational opportunities are limited can also foster drug addiction.

The home environment for children of substance abusers is usually characterized by a lack of communication, poor parenting and a high rate of interpersonal conflict.  Financial and marital problems are common in households with one or more addicted parents.  A home environment where substance abuse takes place is usually unstable and often violent.  Children are more likely to run away from this type of home or end up in foster care.  Growing up in this type of environment leaves many children ill-equipped to resist addiction as teenagers and adults.

The Benefits of Inpatient Drug Rehab

Individuals who are seeking recovery from drug addiction and who have a family background of substance abuse can benefit greatly from inpatient drug rehab.  There is an increased chance of successful rehabilitation when treatment takes place away from the home environment and the negative influence of family members who are themselves substance abusers.  Inpatient drug rehab that lasts for 30 days or more will give an addicted individual the chance to break the cycle of addiction and focus on long-term recovery.