Prescription drug abuse is the result of a person making the wrong decision to over medicate themselves. However, the decision to do so can be affected by your gene pool or the environment you grew up in. The following are five things in your family history that may put you at risk for prescription drug abuse.
A person’s DNA is made from chromosomes from their parents. This and other molecules form to resemble a ladder, and the sequence of these cells determines a person’s physical and mental qualities. Studies have found that variations in this sequence could increase the risk of addiction.
DNA sequence guides the formation of amino acids. These components form proteins that turn into cells. These cells evolve into the tissues that make up our organs. These organs work together so our body functions efficiently. Chromosomes are bundles of genes. If one or more gene sections in DNA become mutated, this will affect a person’s personality or physical makeup.
2. Hereditary Mental Disorders
Up to 90 percent of people diagnosed with a mental illness have one or more family members who also suffer from the same disease. The most common illnesses are depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, ADHD and autism. About 33 percent of them also abuse the medications they are prescribed for their condition.
The genes in their DNA determine how medication is broken down in the body. Genes affect how fast or slow that drugs are broken down by the enzymes in the body. If the break-down process takes longer than normal, drugs stay in the person’s system for a longer time. For those that break down drugs quickly, the effects are short-lived which leaves the patient wanting more. In this case, patients often increase the recommended dosage on their own to achieve the desired effect.
4. Family Surroundings
People are a product of their environment. If they grew up in good surroundings, chances are they will be productive with a high quality of life. However, those who grew up in less desirable conditions often have a rougher road ahead of them. Children who grow up seeing one or more parents abuse drugs misunderstand how wrong and dangerous this situation is. They often experiment with the same drugs found in the household since they are easily accessible.
Parental abusers are also more likely to be indifferent when they discover that their offspring have abused prescription drugs whether or not it was prescribed to them or their parents. Studies show that many of these parents were the ones who gave their children the medication in the first place.
5. Abuse or Neglect
An unhealthy environment of neglect, physical or sexual abuse, or other traumatic experiences greatly affects how a person lives their life. Children suffering from these conditions often exhibit behavioral problems and low self-esteem. Sadly, these unhealthy environments are often passed down to the next generation.
Adults who were abused as children often rely on prescription drugs to numb any mental or physical pain they experience. They may also fall into the wrong crowd of people who have gone through similar experiences and introduce them to pain-relieving methods.
Do not let a family history of prescription drug abuse determine the outcome of your life. Seek medical assistance right away to save yourself. Everyone deserves a good quality of life that is productive and rewarding.