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Genes carry information that makes you who you are. Some genes increase the chance of addiction, and these genes can be passed on to babies. Just like you can have your father’s nose or mother’s eyes, you can also have a parent’s higher risk of addiction. So far, there aren’t tests that can tell you if you carry addiction genes in your body.

But it’s not all about genes. If children see a parent or family member using drugs, they might think it's okay. Kids learn behaviors by watching their parents or older brothers and sisters. Also, addiction causes a lot of problems in the house, and children don't get the care or attention they need. Children who don't feel loved have a greater chance of using drugs and becoming addicted. This can be a problem that continues through many generations. It can happen whether the family is rich, poor, or in between.

The good news is that many children whose parents had drug problems don't become addicted when they grow up. The chances of addiction are higher, but it doesn't have to happen. And you can protect yourself from this chance by not using drugs.