Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a complex thing. There is no one answer for the cause, and there’s certainly not one solution for the cure. There are many causes, including things like a person’s history, mental illness, trauma, and environmental factors. While there is no cure per se, treatment includes a combination of rehab, therapy, 12-step meetings, and medication.
Genetics have always been said to play a role in a person’s inclination towards addiction. If a person has a parent who is an alcoholic, many believe that the person has a greater chance of becoming one themselves. A Lab in Bar Harbor, Maine, was recently given an $11.7 million federal grant to research the role of genetics in addiction. It comes at a time where addiction in America is at epidemic levels, and everyone is looking for a way to help.
A Study About Genetics and Alcohol and Drugs
This 5-year study is going to research the role genetics play in addictive behaviors. People and scientists have long assumed this to be the case, but there has never been any scientific evidence to back it up. The goal of the study is to figure out the role of genetics, and potentially find new ways to help prevent so many people from falling victim to addiction.
There are certain traits this study is going to look at, including:
- Impulse control
- Response to drugs and alcohol
- Reward-seeking behavior
- Behavior patterns
Hopefully, this study will point scientists in the right direction towards finding new ways to treat and prevent addiction. It is also a stepping stone towards reducing the stigma related to addiction to drugs and alcohol. Currently, addicts are still viewed by many as bad people who chose to take the path they did in life. Studies like this one that point to a genetic disposition may help to dispel that
Prevention is key in reducing the amount of drug addiction we see today. If we can advise people who are genetically inclined to face addiction, many cases might be prevented. Similarly to a person who is predisposed to diabetes, a person predisposed to addiction can be aware of the issue and purposely avoid contact with drugs or alcohol to prevent a problem.
As far as the stigma related to drug use, it will probably always be around on some level. However, the more education that is available about addiction the better. More answers mean less speculation and assumption, and that means that more people will reach out for the help they so desperately need.