Addiction 101

Risk factors and causes of addiction

Addiction problems result from a complex interaction of genetic (e.g., biological/physical) and environmental risk factors (e.g., family behaviours, social norms, a history of trauma). Family, twin and adoption studies  Click for more information   show that people who grow up in a family where there is a substance use problem are at significantly higher risk of developing a substance use problem. This indicates that environmental factors play a role, rather than genetics. Other studies show that approximately 50 per cent of alcohol and other drug problems are due to genetic factors (Buscemi & Turchi, 2011). Addiction is complex; many people with substance use problems also have trauma histories. Dr. Gabor Maté believes that pain is the root cause of addiction.