Reflections on addiction

I may be wrong(correct if I am) but it seems the argument is a smoker usually = an addict whereas a drinker and gambler may or may not qualify for that label.
My mother was both an alcoholic/problem drinker and a cigarette smoker. The former resulted in certain behaviours and when she hit her mid-late 60s physical issues.
My father on the other hand can have the occasional cigarette if offered without the need to buy a daily or even weekly/monthly pack. He is partial to a glass of red wine but alcohol has not had the profound effect on him that it did my mum.

It is reckoned that addictions often run in families (nature or nurture or a combination of both?) . When it comes to my grandparents I know little of their possible addictive tendencies. Especially as my paternal grandfather died before I was 3, never met my maternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother died just before my 5th birthday.
What I do know is that my brother and sister both have moderately addictive personalities . Both smoke. Both have or have had a fondness for alcohol. Additionally my brother has decades of doing illegal drugs-mainly cannabis and occasionally other substances.
I have never smoked or done illegal drugs. A lot of that is not because I am better than my siblings but because I was so ostracised I never had the peer pressure in my formative,teenage years. I also hardly ever drink but have a track record of binge drinking(drink a lot very quickly to crash out) when faced by overwhelming stressors.)

If one argues that something is partially genetic should we then really be stigmatising people for it? What of other problems that are probably partially genetic within the area of (mental) health problems?
Do we go down a socially undesirable path in stigmatising people who may well have a partially genetic health problem?
Was such thinking not the catalyst for the eugenics movement of the late 19th through to the mid 20th century?
Do we really want to live in a world like that?

Yeah, the reasons for my addiction to crack were intertwined, My dad and my dads father were both alcoholics. My grandfather drank for years until he “found religion” in his fifties and stopped cold turkey. My dad also quit after he had his second heart attack when he was almost sixty. I started drinking in high school and continued pretty much for years after that but my drinking was pretty much under control.

Then in 1986 when I was 25 I had my first hit of crack and in literally a few months I was addicted, How much did genetics play a role in my addiction? I don’t know. Was I destinied to be an addict? I don’t know that either. No one put a gun to my head and forced me to take that first hit. Smoking crack was fun at first and it wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t until I started smoking reguarly that the addict lifestyle kicked in that my troubles turned serious. Anyway, I didn’t mean to post something so self-centered.

Your post was fine.

My dad was an alcoholic and smoked cigarettes, my mom smokes cigarettes. I still smoke cigarettes, but no longer drink or do drugs. One step at a time, I will quit tobacco too.

Both my parents were/are extremelly anti-drugs, and I think that was one of the reasons I started doing them in the first place actually, they never had the “drugs are bad” talk with me, just the forbidding part of it. I always saw alcohol as a drug, and thought they were hypocrites in my rebellious teens.

Things got out of control in the beggining of my twenties with alcohol, the pain of losing my father to alcohol didn’t stop me and I became an alcoholic too.

Now that I’m sober and no longer feel the need to deal with my problems with substances I think that my addictions are based on low self esteem actually, like a lot of my other issues as well.

I’m an alcoholic, but the only relative I have with that problem is a distant uncle. I don’t know what he did, but everyone who ever talked to that guy walked away saying, “boy that guy is weird.” My older brother did quite a few drugs in high school, but I don’t think he was an addict. He did a pretty fair amount of acid, back in the golden age of acid - purple haze, windowpane, orange sunshine, and all that.

I am a heavy smoker (well technically I vale). Am addicted to nicotine. Went through heavy hash use a decade ago. Not sure if I was addicted - but pretty much dependent on it. Thankfully I have never had problems with alcohol, however I can see how easy it could be to develope a habit.

I think it matters less why you have an addiction than what you do to deal with it once you realize you have a problem. If someone smokes a cigarette a day and is not having health problems or worries over it, they’re probably not an addict to my mind. Someone who is coughing up black crap every morning and wants to quit smoking their two packs a day, but can’t, is definitely an addict.


I googled a list of hereditary illnesses guess what showed up… bullying. The aggressive behaviors of bullies are inherited and environmentally learned.