I Need Information on Weather Drug Addiction Is Inherieted or Is It Learned Behavior & the Difference Between?

Question by pookie: I need information on weather drug addiction is inherieted or is it learned behavior & the difference between?
Im doing a study on drug addiction and need to know whether it is inherited or passed down from generation to generation or do you learn to use drugs from family members or peer pressure.

Best answer:

Answer by zapata
98% of psychology uses intuition to describe,and analyze human behavior,anecdotal evidence might be dna studies,,,inconclusive,,,,societal factors,ditto,,,,,biological factors,such as sensitivity to foods,chemicals as these often bear on topics such as l/d,add/hd,anti social tendencies,if these professions understood drug addiction,they’d have vaccines

Answer by Suzy Cutes
Both, actually, and any conclusion drawn on the subject is going to have its exceptions. That said, I lean toward inherited, or at least something within the physiological and not the sociological make up of the person.

Alcoholism is considered an inherited trait, and FAS children have something like a 99% alcohol addiction rate. An addictive personality, also inherited, contributes to drug use. With an addictive personality, there is an internal impetus to have an altered state of consciousness and addictive substances or situations (to some people, sex is a drug they are addicted to) are sought out or easily and rapidly focused on.

Peer pressure offers a learned behavior in that if it wasn’t for the peer pressure, the drug may never be consumed. Peer pressure is not just friends and family coaxing or using, but glamorization of drugs through media, tv, moves, books, celebrities, etc.

Very much of the bottom line to addiction is the brain/physiological make up which may result from genetics (inherited),any racial anomalies (Native Americans don’t tolerate alcohol as well as Northern European Caucasians; there is a tribe in South America that routinely chews cocoa leaves (cocaine) but they are not considered addicted) which could be considered inherited, and experience in the womb (such as FAS) or early nutrition and/or possible injuries disrupting normal brain development. For example, you can take two people from similar ethnic and social backgrounds, and with the same peer pressure (or lack of same) one can turn away, the other will be sucked in. The only way to explain that is the individual way the brain tolerates a certain substance and how the person is addicted.

Take for example, tobacco. As hard as the anti-smoking faction tries with information, advertising, punishment, taxes, and all manner of things, 30% of the population still smokes and continues to *choose* to smoke, and that number has stayed steady since the 1980s. The new “learned behavior” is not to smoke, smoking is bad, yet 30% of the population will continue to do so, whether or not their mothers smoked while they were in the womb, were exposed to it, etc. The vast majority of people start smoking as a result of peer pressure; whether that pressure is from friends, family smokers, as a tool of rebellion against authority and the system, advertising, or celebrity usage. Among smokers, the success rate for quitting smoking is dismally low for “behavior modification” approaches, and “cold turkey” is the most successful. If nicotine addiction were a learned behavior, then relearned behavior should be successful, but it isn’t.

Now, this doesn’t discount the types of addiction that runs through a certain community. Let’s go back to the days when LSD was considered a hippie drug. Now, LSD is not physically addictive, but I use it as an example of a “community,” the “hippie, psychedelic” community and the learned behavior within that community. But, when removed from that community and moved into another community (like growing up, having children, getting a real job, becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce) the relearned behavior changes the habits. Those that physically or psychologically cannot or will not give up their drug, will remain within the “drug” community,or, as in my example, the hippie community.

Then, there are “mother’s little helpers.” Uppers and downers are often a learned, on-going behavior in affluent communities. But, we have to delve into the psychological aspects that precipitate that.

Remember, a drug is physically addictive. Alcohol is physically addictive just as cocaine or crack or heroin are. Marijuana is not physically addictive, but is still erroneously categorized as a drug. Considering the number of people who smoke over and beyond those with addictive personalities or physiological addictive propensities, it would seem it was a learned behavior. But, again, as marijuana is not physically addictive, I generally remove it when discussing hard-core, real drugs.

Doing the drugs is peer pressure or learned behavior. The propensity to stay addicted or the inability to shed the addiction is genetic.

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