Monday, April 9, 2018
Genes Linked to Addiction
Studies have been done to discover the linkage of genetics and addiction. With the opioid epidemic striking the population, this topic has been a cause of interest for many people. The gentic information in our cells influence the way our brains function and our physical responses to chemicals within our bodies. Therefore, it is apparent that some people become addicted to drugs based off of the way they respond to the chemicals they are exposed to. The Human Genome Project allowed scientists to study the entire genetic make up of humans and figure out how they can use genetics to compete with addiction. There are limitations to this experiment, however researchers are working on a discovery to help those who suffer from addiction. Researchers are also studying the family linkage of drug abuse. While studying this linkage, they have found genetic markers that may trigger addiction, but have also found the same genetic markers in family members who are not addicted to drugs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, genetic information only accounts for half of a person's vulnerability. Other factors include age when a person starts using mind altering substances, neighborhood, availability, presence of mental health issues, and gender. Addiction genes need a trigger from the environment to be activated.
I believe this is a topic that should be further studied to figure out a better way to treat those who suffer from drug abuse. I personally believe it is a disease that should be treated like one and many people are dying from this disease. It is an extremely hard subject to find a definite solution to, however, we can keep trying.