What the Experts at Serenity Recovery Are Saying

People used to laughingly say that they caught an addiction from a friend. It was a bad joke among addicts and one that clean and sober people didn’t really appreciate. They saw it as a feeble attempt to deny they had a hand in their own addictive behaviors but as time goes on and there is more medical and scientific research being conducted by the day, there just might be some evidence that addiction can be ‘caught.’ Here are what experts around the country are saying and what Serenity Recovery rehab center feels about what is coming to light.

Going on the Premise that Habits Are Learned

Some experts say that addiction can be contagious and cite an example of married couples to support their thesis. As time goes on, married people begin to develop the habits of their spouse. For example, words used habitually, even though grammatically incorrect are adopted by a partner. Those who have to eat dinner at precisely 6 PM daily or can’t eat unless all the chores for the day have been done will pass these habitual behaviors off to the spouse. Walking a certain way, sitting a certain way and even laughter begins to resemble the other partner and it has become almost comical the way we say that married couples even begin to look like each other after being together for decades.

Binge Drinking Is a Learned Behavior

Another example of addiction being contagious is something that Per Wickstrom has been aware of for many years. When in college, students often celebrate major milestones by going on a weekend bender. Every time they pass an exam or finish a semester, the crowd gets together for a few days of partying. This is a learned behavior, not something they came to college already doing. This particular behavior of rewarding themselves with alcohol has been proven to cause full-blown addiction in later life. This is much like obese people rewarding themselves with ice cream, cake or high sugar, high fat ‘comfort foods’ when they feel they deserve that extra reward.

Genetics vs. Contagions

Then there is the controversy over whether or not addictions can be inherited. Some people claim that inherited addictions are more ‘provable’ than contagious addictions such as binge eating or drinking. Others believe that both are just excuses to pass off the blame. In either case, there is ample evidence to support the theory that a proclivity towards addiction is inherited in many cases as are contagious addictions that start as learned behaviors that become habitual.

Serenity Recovery sees validity in both sides of the coin but when weighing in on the subject believes that an addict must accept responsibility for his or her addictions in the end. Unless you admit that you have an addiction and are willing to own your problem, there is no way to recover. So whether you learned habit forming behaviors or were born with a proclivity towards addiction, you can counteract it and learn to live clean and sober. In recovery, there is no room for justification and excuses. You either own the problem and recover or pass the buck and stay an addict. The choice is yours. Which do you choose?

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