The following post is taken from my daughter’s  interview with Tommy Rosen (see his bio below) during the 2017 International Yoga festival in Rishikesh, India.

Q: Do you think addiction is primarily a genetic condition?

A: The idea that addiction is genetic is an unhelpful idea. It doesn’t serve a person’s healing. It very much serves to disempower – or to indicate to a person that there’s no way out. You’re doomed to this fate, or that fate. You’re a victim of your heredity. It’s not true.

A person could be absolutely genetically predisposed to develop a cancer or diabetes or some other disease that’s been seen in their family – but it never develops in that person. Why not? Because what overrides genetic programming in some cases – when we’re talking about degenerative diseases, we’re talking about dis-ease like this – what overrides what I call lifestyle diseases, is how you behave, the choices you make around food; the choices you make about the people and company you keep; the choices you make about the environment you live in. Is it clean? What products do you use, what foods do you eat? Do you use toxic soap on your body and your hair? Do you use fluoride in your toothpaste? Are you dropping poisons and chemicals into your body? Are you stressing, are you creating stress in your life? If you do all these things, and you take negative actions, you’re making your body – your system – weaker, and then addiction can come in. Dis-eases can come in because they take advantage of your weakness.

Now, you can take a person who has no genetic indication of addiction or anything else, and pump them full of stress, full of chemicals, full of negativity, full of a toxic environment, and lo and behold, they become an addict, or they become this or that or the other thing.

So you see, epigenetics – this idea that your behaviour can affect the readout of your genetic code – is much more important – because it puts you in the driver’s seat. And this is the amazing work of Bruce Lipton, who’s here with us at the festival. So it’s good news – we’re in the driver’s seat – but that means that we have to be responsible for our choices.

See the next and final post in this series: Recovery 2.0 – Recovery Membership Community Online

Tommy Rosen Bio:

Tommy Rosen is a yoga teacher and addiction recovery expert who has spent the last two decades immersed in yoga, recovery and wellness. He holds certifications in both Kundalini and Hatha Yoga and has 24 years of continuous recovery from drug addiction.

Tommy is one of the pioneers in the field of Yoga and Recovery assisting others to holistically transcend addictions of all kinds. Tommy is the founder and host of the Recovery 2.0: Beyond Addiction Online Conference series and the #MoveBeyond Group Coaching Program. He leads Recovery 2.0 retreats and workshops internationally and presents regularly at yoga conferences and festivals.

Tommy’s first book, Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life, was published by Hay House in October 2014.