Biology strong factor for drug abuse in adopted children

Biology strong factor for drug abuse in adopted children

Biology strong factor for drug abuse in adopted children

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One study published in Sweden has concluded that adopted children whose biological parents were drug addicts or users are more likely to abuse drugs as adults when compared to children whose biological parents were not drug users. Adoption studies have historically been used to answer questions related to the age-old nature vs. nurture debate.

It appears the study, which included 18,000 adopted children, considered the children’s biological background as well as current environmental conditions. The study found that while current environmental factors are definitely influential in a child’s propensity to turn to drugs and alcohol later in life, the biological background a child is born with is inherently a strong predictor of addiction later in life.

One of the researchers involved in the study, which was published in Archives of General Psychiatry shares:

“For an adoptee, having a biological parent with drug abuse who did not raise you doubles your risk for drug abuse,”

“But we also found an important role for environmental factors.”

What does this say for adoptive parents who know their children come from parents who were drug abusers? A positive family life with healthy relationships, for any child, may decrease the risk referred to in the study. It’s essential that parents provide positive outlets for children, ones that allow them to fully express themselves without fear of judgment or punishment. Being able to let others know how you feel can liberate a child and decrease their sense of stress.

Model the behaviors you want your children to display. If you do not want them to drink, try to avoid drinking excessively or not at all in their presence – children tend to internalize many things they see their parents do. What are your thoughts on this study? Do you think children growing up in a healthy environment can ‘get away’ from their biological background?

Source: CBS News

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