There are a lot of theories that discuss genetics in terms of drug abuse. I find genetics can be tricky as we often use our parents as models psychologically which is not the same as inheriting a genetic pattern or tendency.
If our parents were abusive towards us or had a lot of emotional problems, we may have found ways to drown out the pain as children. This could involve imaginary friends, absorption in science fiction or video games and excessive sleeping. As people get older, alcoholism and drug temptation appear as ways to block out painful feelings.
As a therapist I see many from dysfunctional families deal with pain through some form of excessive behavior. This can be a cause of drug abuse, but also it may manifest as an eating disorder, promiscuity, constant job changing or thrill seeking.
Personally I think nothing actually can “cause" us to do something . If we've been fortunate to have some good role models or mentors in our lives from neighbors, relatives or teachers then a challenging situation may be met with a certain degree of will power and stamina. This is why education, positive influences and inspiring books can be helpful in changing our lives. On the other hand, when we've been around people and family with poor coping mechanisms who use anger, alcohol and drugs, blame and avoidance to face adversity, we aren't shown ways to transform tough situations into personal growth.
It is liberating to know we don't have to repeat patterns we've observed in family or ourselves, but that we can step out of our history. Even if you don't have a personal mentor, finding an inspirational book can put you in a new direction. Sometimes it only takes one sentence to make a significant change where we take a different fork in the road. Never feel it's too late to transform your life.
Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker Stop by Causes of Drug Abuse where you can visit and learn more about taking care of yourself at http://www.drug-and-alcohol-rehab-info.com to break the patterns of the past .