Genetic and Ancestral History Matters in Dual Diagnosis

DNA technologies have transformed our modern society in so many ways. It’s almost unfathomable to think of life without this science today. DNA is used to help us discover our ancestral roots and find long-lost loved ones. Police use DNA to conclude previously unsolvable crimes. DNA helps health and medical professionals determine when we are susceptible to certain diseases or genetic conditions, enabling us a warning to screen for such problems early and often.

Folks are now eating for their DNA and finding easier ways to control their diets and feel healthier too (cite: 1). The new field of ‘pharmacogenomics’ is allowing doctors to prescribe the correct medicines that will work with your specific DNA, essentially custom tailoring treatments (cite: 2). Although we have previously discussed this on the blog here, we’d like to tie it all into a secondary central theme.

DNA and Family History Matters in Dual Diagnosis

It is amazing how our genetics plays such a huge part in our health. The research shows that some folks are much more susceptible to alcohol or drug addiction. Often, we see that if a parent had a problem with substance abuse, their children were also likely to have a problem. No, it’s not a forgone conclusion. For instance, one child may be an alcoholic like dad, while another offspring may not have a problem at all.

Yes, there are lots of circumstances involved here, so it’s not that the second child who doesn’t have the problem couldn’t in the future, perhaps their social circles were different. Nevertheless, the facts and evidence show that if you have one or more family blood-relative that has had a dependency disorder or a problem with substance addiction then you may be more vulnerable to the grips of addiction than someone who doesn’t have that family history.

If someone in your immediate family has a mental health disorder such as ADD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, or Bi-polar Disorder, then you will also have the potential of having a mental health disorder. After all, you share the same gene sets (cite: 3).

When treating dependency, it’s vital to take all this into consideration, far too many rehab facilities do not properly screen for family history and DNA. It’s a mistake not to, and yet our industry often finds itself with less-than-experienced players. It’s important for customers to ask many questions in advance, and if you don’t get the right answers, you really ought to walk away and find a better facility to treat the addiction.

Far too often we see folks that have relapsed several times and nothing seems to be working for them. Had their previous rehab facilities just taken the time to better learn the family history and screen for the genetic components they probably would have gotten over their dependency. We are happy to help even if we have to fix the mistakes of others, although it is sad to see all the suffering and anguish our patients have gone through trying to rid themselves of the devastating effects of addiction.

Family Dynamics, Family History and Addiction Treatment

Add in family dynamics and it’s easy to see why dependency treatment can get complicated in a hurry. For instance, if other members of the family are abusing alcohol or are recreationally using drugs and yet, insist that another member of the family go into a rehab facility, it’s hard to take their sincerity seriously. Often families threaten to cut off an inheritance, or outcast a member who has a dependency problem even when such issues run in the family.

When it comes to an intervention from family and friends, things can go from bad to worse very quickly if not handled correctly and with care. Things are often said in anger and feelings are hurt resulting in long-term emotional scars. Sometimes it is the families that need to be educated on the matter, as it is often the family history and family genetics, and family dynamics that in part led to the addiction in the first place (cite: 4).

Why Leaving No Stone Unturned Is the Best Path Forward

At LifeSync Malibu we don’t take chances, we want a full and speedy recovery. We realize that details matter, and that means all the details. Once we know all the intricate parts of the story then we can develop a proper treatment plan, individualized and custom. Each and every treatment plan here is unique because each person is unique, each gene set is unique and each family is unique.

Once everyone is on the same page, and all the genetic history is known, and once we’ve taken into consideration the actual family dynamics, then we can draw up a treatment plan we can all agree on. One that works. We can’t wait to meet you and help you take your life back.

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