Quote from michaelxy
i am sorry to muddy the waters and detract from your otherwise good post, but this has yet to be proven. if it had then an addict would not be viewed as they are currently viewed. ie. "i just been diagnosed with cancer" "omg, i am so sorry" v.s. "i am an addict" " well get your act in order loser"
i am of the belief that addiction is not yet considered a disease by many, and as such a stigma still clings. i have yet to see definitive proof that it is. for me as a former multi addict, i think i was just being plain selfish and desired self gratification. not so sure i can blame my dna on this one.
you're correct that addiction is not yet considered a disease by many, which feeds the stigma associated with addiction. but stigma is based on lack of knowledge or inaccurate knowledge regarding the stigmatized person or thing. false "beliefs" will drive inappropriate actions and behaviors toward the stigmatized person or thing, in this case, the addict and the disease of addiction. holding the belief that addiction isn't a disease or genetically based doesn't mean the belief is accurate or "true". many didn't believe epilepsy was a disease. they believed it was demon possession. as medical science advanced, that belief was eliminated. same thing with leprosy. people believed it was a result of sin or the sins of the person's parents. now we know it's an infection and can be treated with antibiotics.
"belief" - noun
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
as health care professionals we must base our services on the current, best scientific evidence currently available. it's not "ok" to base our professional decisions and actions on "beliefs". a great example of the difference between a belief and a fact is given in #1 in the definition above. for a long time people believed the earth was flat and the sun moved around the earth. now we know the earth is a sphere orbiting a star. very few people believe the earth is flat in the present time. if someone did believe the earth was flat, despite the scientific evidence that it is round, we'd wonder what in the world is wrong with them. there is growing scientific evidence that genes play a vital part in susceptibility to addiction. continuing to "believe" it's a moral weakness or lack of willpower might be "ok" for the non-health care professional. we don't have that luxury.
below are several sources of information regarding the current science regarding the genetic components of addiction. it's fascinating reading and is providing us increased understanding in the causes of addiction and improved treatment protocols as well as other areas of science involving the brain, including other psychiatric illnesses and non-health care related issues such as learning, memory, etc. enjoy!
the genetics of addiction
, a clip from the acclaimed dvd "pleasure unwoven
the role of genetics in addiction
(from the university of pennsylvania health system
why is that?
is it because those 14 to 20 million people who are alcoholics have no will power...or they're just morally inept...or they lack scruples...or they didn't toilet train properly? of course not!
it doesn't make sense. what does make sense is the role of genetics...
initial theories of a single "alcoholic gene" have essentially been disproven by research. we believe that multiple genes play a role in the transmission of addiction from one generation to another. it is called polygenic inheritance
- 100 million people in the u.s. have at least 1 alcoholic drink daily.
- 14 - 20 million are alcoholics.
- that means approximately 4 out of 5 people who have at least 1 drink per day are not alcoholics.
what we learn from the research?
alcoholism can skip generations. if parents are not alcoholics, that does not mean that a child cannot be an alcoholic.
if one researches families in which there's an addicted person, one will invariably find another addicted person in the family-an aunt, uncle, grandfather-sometimes with a different form of addiction-but it's genetics, not willpower, scruples or toilet training, that plays a vital role in determining whether one will have the disease of addiction.
- if you have an alcoholic parent, that doesn't mean you will be an alcoholic.
- while studies show a significant increase in the incidence of alcoholism in the children of alcoholics, the father to son transmission is particularly strong.
- in type 2 alcoholism, which is relegated to men, the son of an alcoholic father is 9 times at greater risk of being an alcoholic compared to the general population.
- recent studies suggest that heroin addiction is even more mediated by genes than alcoholism.
knowledge-base for addiction related genes
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]on the basis of manually integrating 2343 items of cross-platform data linking genes and chromosome regions to addiction from peer-reviewed publications between 1976 and 2006, a list of 1500 addiction-related human genes were identified in our study. among them 396 genes were supported by two or more items of evidence. to cite this work, please refer to: li cy, mao x, wei l (2008) genes and (common) pathways underlying drug addiction. plos comput biol 4(1): e2. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0040002
follow this link to see the gene "map" - cbi-knowledgebase for addiction related genes
genes associated with addiction: alcoholism, opiate, and cocaine addiction.
laboratory of the biology of addictive diseases, the rockefeller university, 1230 york avenue, new york, ny 10021, usa. email@example.com
drug addiction is a complex disorder that has a large spectrum of causes. vulnerability to addiction has been shown in twin studies to have a robust genetic component. this genetic basis for addiction has general and specific components for each drug abused. although many genes have been implicated in drug addiction, only a handful have either been replicated to have an association or to have an identified functional mechanism related to specific effects of abused drugs. a few selected genetic variants that currently look promising for the study of alcohol, opiate, and cocaine addiction are discussed in this article.
pmid: 15001815 [pubmed - indexed for medline]
molecular genetics of addiction vulnerability
george r. uhlsummary
classical genetic studies document strong complex genetic contributions to abuse of multiple addictive substances, to mnemonic processes that are likely to include those involved in substance dependence, and to the volumes of brain gray matter in regions that are likely to contribute to mnemonic/cognitive and to addictive processes. the working idea that these three heritable phenotypes are likely to share some of the same complex genetic underpinnings is presented. this review contains association-based molecular genetic studies of addiction that largely derive from my laboratory and their fit with linkage data from other laboratories. these combined results now identify many of the loci and genes that contain allelic variants that are likely to provide the heritable components of human addiction vulnerability. these data are also likely to have broad implications for neurotherapeutics. drugs with potential abuse liabilities are widely used for indications that include pain, anxiety, sleep, seizure, and attentional disorders. there is increasing nonmedical use of these prescribed substances. increasing information about addiction vulnerability gene variants should help to improve management of risks of dependence in individuals who receive such therapeutics. in addition, since mnemonic components that correlate well with individual differences in brain regional volumes are likely to play major roles in addiction processes, many addiction vulnerability genes are also good candidates to contribute to individual differences in mnemonic processes. recently elucidation of addiction-associated haplotypes for the "cell adhesion" nrcam gene illustrate several of these points.
- the contribution of genetics to addiction therapy approaches
howard j. edenberg and henry r. kranzler
aindiana university school of medicine, 635 barnhill drive, ms4063, indianapolis, in 46202-5122, usa
buniversity of connecticut, school of medicine, 263 farmington avenue, farmington, ct 06030-2103, usa
addictions, including alcohol dependence, which is the focus of this article, are complex genetic diseases. recently, several individual genes that contribute to the risk for alcohol dependence have been identified, and more are expected to be in the near future. among these are genes encoding alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases and gabaa receptor subunits. these reveal pathways of vulnerability and provide targets for rational drug design. it is likely that response to particular therapies is also a complex trait influenced by genetics, but studies to explore this are just beginning. we discuss some studies on bromocriptine, naltrexone, and serotonergic agents. adding a genetic component to treatment trials could greatly help to understand the biological basis of variations in the efficacy of therapies and, in the future, could lead to individualized choices of therapy.