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My Son and His Ex-girlfriend both have Addiction Problems. What Can We Do To Be Certain That Their Son Will Not Have Dependency Problems too?

My son has been treated twice for being addicted to alcohol. His ex-girlfriend has had treatment for drug addiction, and has similar problems with alcohol.

They have a son together who lives primarily with his mother temporarily. She lives with her boyfriend who is a heavy drinker, both at home and socially, and she joins in.

She just received a DUI the other day. What are the chances that if our grandson remains in that atmosphere (where alcohol is readily available) he will develop alcoholism or dependency?

Isn't there more of a chance of him becoming dependent when he sees that as an accepted behavior? His mother has a brother and father with alcohol dependency, and I have an alcoholic brother and my grandfather was an alcoholic.


The primary cause of addiction or dependency is widely accepted as being the genetic or hereditary factor, with children of alcoholics or drug addicts being more likely predisposed to addiction than those those children who don't have that kind of family history. So I suggest you read more about that on the addiction and alcoholism hereditary and addiction and alcoholism genetic pages.

But being predisposed to addiction only explains part of the cause. Environmental influences also play a huge role, and so of course the behavioural influences of others, especially parents is also a significant contributing factor. Parents, through example, educating, and helping establish healthy boundaries towards things like alcohol and drugs have a massive role to play in helping prevent a child go down the road of addiction and dependence.

So unfortunately it doesn't sound like your grandson is being brought up in an ideal environment at all. Even in a perfect environment there is nothing you can do to be totally certain someone won't end up going down the road of addiction - because all it takes is getting in with the wrong crowd, experimenting with a highly addictive substance, and you're hooked before you know it. All you can ever do is try and minimise the chances of it happening.

And the opposite is also true - others with a history of addiction in their families and brought up in an environment 'conducive' to going down the path of addiction - manage to avoid doing so.

So my advice to you is that when you get the opportunity, try and pass on solid values to your grandson, educate him as to what addiction is all about and the potential dangers alcohol and drugs pose, and hope that chemical dependency in any form is a path he never travels.

Too many people try and brush the problem of addiction in families under the carpet, whereas it needs to be brought into the open and spoken about - so that it can be understood and so hopefully dealt with.

But ultimately there is only so much you can do - and for the rest you can only hope addiction is a road your grandson never ends up going down. Sorry if that's not quite what you were hoping to hear and lets pray your grandson's journey through life manages to stay clear of any form of addiction or dependency.

God Bless

Comments for My Son and His Ex-girlfriend both have Addiction Problems. What Can We Do To Be Certain That Their Son Will Not Have Dependency Problems too?

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Oct 25, 2009
No Guarantees ... only Hope
by: CP

There are unfortunately no guarantees that your grandson won't also develop the disease of addiction. You can only hope he doesn't by doing all you can to create the awareness of the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and how it's already affected so many people he knows and loves. By bringing such a sensitive topic to light, you allow the potential for healing - but by keeping it hidden and in the dark, it will just continue to fester and manifest in all sorts of unpleasant ways, not necessarily only addiction. Do everything you can to facilitate him being raised in a loving and healthy environment, and then hope addiction is an affliction he never experiences. Best of luck.

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