Researchers and addiction specialists are well aware that a large component of each person’s risk for alcohol use disorder (alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism) comes from genetic influences passed down through family bloodlines. However, specialists in the field have not previously known if genetics play a role in any given individual’s chances of liking the taste of alcohol. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers from four U.S. institutions examined the impact that inherited variations in three taste-related genes have on the favorable reactions that the average person has to alcohol intake.
Years ago an anti-smoking advertisement showed a young son following behind his father and imitating all of the dad’s behaviors – including smoking a cigarette. Since then, science has shown that children not only mimic their parents’ addictive behaviors, there seems to be a genetic component as well. Now a mice study has turned some of the human research on its head. Male mice exposed to large amounts of alcohol have male offspring with little taste for booze.
While some marijuana users may not realize it, the genes that drive use and misuse are the same that contribute to excessive alcohol use. As marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, roughly eight to ten percent of users are considered to be dependent. According to a new study, the severity of symptoms increase with heavier use. Continue reading
A growing body of evidence is starting to reveal how genetics and epigenetics contribute not only to an individual’s predisposition for becoming addicted to alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs, but also their ability to kick such habits.