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Biological Factors of Addiction

The exact cause of addiction can’t be narrowed down to just one aspect. There simply has not been enough conclusive research to say with any level of certainty that one particular thing, or a combination of things, causes addiction. That being said, there are a variety of models developed to help us understand addiction. One of these models discusses the biological factors of addiction.

When considering the biological components of addiction, we include the significance of genetics and the laws of nature and the world around us. These components include the structure of the brain itself, the chemistry within the brain, and any genetic abnormalities. These factors influence the decisions we make throughout our lives. If these factors play a role in our decision-making process, then they are also influential in the process of addiction.

An individual’s unique physiology impacts their relationship to addiction. The chemical make-up of their brain creates tendencies towards both psychological dependence and physical addiction. These factors influence how much enjoyment a person receives from a particular activity. For instance, a person might use a specific drug and experience a high level of pleasure from the drug. Another person might use the same drug and feel nothing pleasurable but rather might experience anxiety or panic. These are biological reactions, and they vary depending upon each person’s brain.

Biological factors, or at least a large number of them, relate to genetics. This means that if you have a family member that is closely related that has issues with addiction, you may be more susceptible to addiction, as well. While again there is no “alcoholic gene” per se, there are undoubtedly genetic similarities among those dealing with addiction.

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