Family Link In Addiction

Kelly Osbourne blames her famous rocker dad for her addiction. What role do genetics play in drug and alcohol abuse?

The Osbourne family’s drug problems have been well documented. Dad Ozzy battled an addiction to drugs and alcohol for years, but how did his struggles affect children Kelly and Jack?

The two were teens when they became famous in their own right due to the family’s MTV reality show (older sister Aimee opted out of appearing), making their troubles tabloid fodder as both kids struggled with addiction. In fact, Kelly recently blamed her addiction to prescription painkillers on her famous father, saying, “addiction is in your genes,” referring to the Black Sabbath frontman’s long history of partying and using. Both Jack and Kelly have been in rehab in recent years, lending credence to the idea that kids of addicts are predisposed to abuse drugs or alcohol themselves.

“I don’t have any shadow of a doubt that addiction is a disease. It’s in your genes,” Kelly adds.

Osbourne Family

The Addiction Gene

The experts at the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center agree, saying, “social and environmental factors contribute to this risk of addiction. It is becoming increasingly clear that genetic factors also weigh in.” They go on to explain that, “scientists will never find just one single addiction gene. Susceptibility to addiction is the result of many interacting genes. Like other behavioral diseases, addiction vulnerability is a very complex trait. Many factors determine the likelihood that someone will become an addict.”

Just because someone has a predisposition to addiction, it’s in no way a guarantee that they will become addicted. Just as those with a family history of heart disease need to watch their diet and check their cholesterol numbers, those with a family history of addiction need to be aware and be on the lookout for warning signs of a possible problem.

Addiction Help

If you or a family member are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call The Oaks at La Paloma at our toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

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