There's a Genetic Component to Addiction and Indio Has Likely Inherited It: Robert Downey Jr.

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By Afza Fathima | July 1, 2014 1:58 PM EST

Robert Downey Jr, after the arrest of his son, Indio, for the possession of cocaine, said, "Unfortunately there's a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we're all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he's capable of being. We're grateful to the Sheriff's department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale."

Reuters
Addiction can highly be influenced by genetics.

In the 80's and 90's, Robert Downey Jr. struggled with drug addiction and finally in 2001, with the help of California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, he came out clean and sober. The actor publicly supports those who struggle with drugs and alcohol.

Indio Falconer Downey's mother, Deborah Falconer, has said that she needs to distance his problems from those of his father. In 2013, due to pill addiction, Indio was admitted for rehab.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence's web page reads, "The single most reliable indicator of risk for future alcohol and drug problems is FAMILY HISTORY." Genetics affects how a person becomes addicted, said the Council.

The NCADD explains that a person's choice to use alcohol or drugs is influenced by the environment, peers and family. The risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics. A research by the National Institutes of Health shows that cocaine has a high heritability factor. 

Addiction often runs in families because of its inherited component. It passes on from parent to child through genes.

Learn Genetics reads: "Researchers often study large families to learn which genes may be making them susceptible to addiction. They begin by comparing DNA sequences of family members who are affected by addiction with those who are not, and they look for pieces of DNA that are shared among affected individuals and less common in the unaffected."

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(Photo: Reuters / Eliana Aponte)
Addiction can highly be influenced by genetics.
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