“My greatest fear is that my kids and your kids will become addicts if we do not openly talk with them about life and addiction.”

Many people will debate back and forth. Scientist and doctors will always have their tests and studies to prove or disprove if addiction is a genetic disease, mental disease or a moral choice. While the studies are still being done, we are still and always will be left with the crude aspects of addiction.

There are many families that have histories of addiction. I do not believe we will ever know if addiction is linked genetically or if it is the upbringing that we raise our children in that creates the addict. We all know addiction affects everyone in the family. Could these negative effects that addictions have on the families and the lack of education, acceptance of one another, and the ability to cope with an addictive family member be what create more addicts? Could the addictive parent not offering hope for their children or being open about their addiction leave their children in the dark with no other outlook on life but addiction? Or the addict that has the excuse in their mind that a family member was an addict, therefore their actions can be excused because it is a “family disease?”

If you look at the cycle of family addiction, it seems that the cycle cannot be broken. My conclusion on this is because there will always be the excuse that this is a family disease, because someone in the family was an addict. With that excuse and always having a reason to fall back on, why would anyone feel the need to change? It is a way of self-enabling. Often you hear of parents being addicts or uncles, aunts or cousins. I wonder if anyone ever sat down with the families of these addicts and explained in detail what addiction is and how to cope without turning to drugs and alcohol themselves? Somehow, the cycle has to be broken with addiction. Many of us are taught the basics in life, but are we taught how to practice healthy living habits and how not to become an addict? Yes, in the end it is up to the person to decide if they will use or not.

Though we will never fully understand or really have all the answers to these questions, what we do know is that once addiction sets in, it sickens the mind and body. How we learn to cope with it will affect our future and the future of addicts.

What are your thoughts?