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How Do Choices in Addiction Influence My Recovery?

Most people approach addiction from a fully nurture or nature perspective. It’s either a biological condition or a behavioral condition. The reality is more complex than that. While many people who experience addiction may be genetically predisposed to it, the truth of the matter is that environment and habits all play into addiction as well. We can’t control our genetic predispositions or our childhood upbringing. However, as adults, we’re responsible for our actions and decisions. We can make many choices in addiction to set ourselves on a healthier path.

Uncontrollable Components of Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as much as 50% of addiction risk comes from genetics. This passes down through generations. If we have parents or grandparents with an addiction to substances, we’re significantly more likely to develop an addiction to substances as well.

In addition to genetic coding, another biological component exists. Histones, a type of protein coil, organize genes. The tightness of the genetic coils around the histones can influence gene expression. Exposure to substances can change the effect of histones on genes. Ultimately, this leads us to a controllable element of addiction. In most cases, you choose to consume substances. Pressures may influence this, but most people aren’t forced into drug use.

Controllable Components of Addiction

If you have healthcare access, seeking trauma treatment falls within your control. Trauma treatment can prevent you from using substances to self-medicate. Additionally, you may choose to surround yourself with people who will pressure you to consume substances. You may decide to stay in a relationship with another person with addiction even if you have the resources to leave.

Obviously, these scenarios are more nuanced than they seem. Sometimes, we simply can’t change our environment or circumstances. It’s important to recognize the areas where we had control, though, because we can dissect them in treatment. By processing them, we can learn how to navigate these situations in the future.

Making Choices in Addiction Treatment

Once you have an addiction to substances, you must make choices. Are you going to seek addiction treatment? Will you do the work to change? Are you going to take control of your choices in addiction? You need to dedicate yourself to your treatment and long-term recovery. To truly heal, you need to make health your priority.

Moreover, you can make decisions about the kind of treatment you seek. You might go inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or outpatient. Changes in your environment may mean attending a sober living home early in recovery. Additionally, you can choose the kind of groups you attend. For example, would you rather attend AA or SMART Recovery?

Feeling Confident About Your Choices in Addiction

As you begin to make choices in addiction, you might start feeling unsure of your decisions. One way to feel more confident is to discuss your choices with your mental health professionals. These individuals can help you dissect choices, ensuring you’re making decisions and taking action for the right reasons. They can also offer you support as you follow through with your choices.

In life, we all have the ability to make choices that change our path. Addiction begins as a potential outcome coded into our genetics. Once you make a decision to consume substances, you could start your descent into substance use disorder (SUD). You aren’t doomed to stay in this place for the rest of your life, though. At The Guest House, we can help you make healthy choices in addiction treatment and recovery. Take back your power by picking up the phone. Call us at (855) 483-7800.