Search For A Cure
Research, Scientific Breakthroughs, & Caregiver Tips
Is Heroin Addiction Hereditary?
Addiction to heroin and other drugs does not stem from a single cause. In many cases, the most significant factors that lead to addiction are environmental. Users are moved to drug use because of situations surrounding them, and their continued drug use leads to addiction. There is, however, evidence to suggest that some people are more susceptible to becoming addicted to certain drugs after they begin to use. That susceptibility seems to be, to some degree, determined by genetics and is likely inherited within families.
Inherited addiction risk is not fully understood by scientists. In the case of heroin addiction risk, research has focused on genes associated with opioid receptors, neurotransmitter creation, and the brain’s pleasure-and-reward circuitry. While studies have suggested a number of genes that may be involved, more research is needed.
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