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Is Drug Addiction Genetic?




The functional units of man’s DNA, those that make up his human genome, can provide information about the body’s basic cellular activities. Scientific findings reveal of the human genome that DNA sequences of any two people are at least 99.9 percent the same.

.1% Is Vital

On the contrary, the remaining 0.1 percent is crucially important. It is still 3 million differences in base pairs of 3 billion of DNA sequence. These millions of differences all contribute to the visible variations each individual possess including height and hair color along with the invisible traits like increased risk for certain diseases as well as protection from illnesses including the likes of diabetes, heart attack, and addiction.


There are diseases like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis that are caused by some error in the body known as a mutation in genes. There are a few mutations such as the BRCA1 and 2 that are being linked with a greater risk of ovarian and breast cancer in women. These have become vital tools in the medical setting for the evaluation of a patient’s risks for serious illnesses.

Researchers in the medical setting have featured striking success at unveiling the genetics of single-gene disorders. However, finding cures for such disorders may not be that simple. In most cases, these diseases including addiction are complex.

The variations in numerous genes all contribute to an individual’s overall level of risk as well as protection. On a positive note, scientists are currently in the active pursuit of many more paths leading to the treatment as well as the prevention of many more of these complex diseases.

NIDA-sponsored research has brought people to believe that certain gene variants may be connected with nicotine dependence. This is said to be a major breakthrough that has paved the way for analyzing animal models and revealing the importance of such variants in the way the brain responds to nicotine. This includes withdrawal as well as nicotine aversion or the body’s resistance to addiction.

Additionally, there are genetic variants that are being linked to a twofold or even a threefold increase in the risk of getting lung cancer. The rate is said to be higher in those who smoke less than 20 cigarettes per day. Such discoveries have prompted investigators to study and develop new medications that would affect how these agents bind to receptors in the brain. The gene variants in nicotinic receptors along with enzymes that metabolize nicotine are also starting to be useful in the clinical setting as a guide in designing effective treatments.

Further studies in DNA analysis are also being used by researchers to untangle complex genetic interactions. This is usually done by analyzing an entire genome all at one. There are technologies like the genome-wide association studies or GWAS, exome sequencing, and whole genome sequencing that identify subtle variations in DNA sequence known as the single-nucleotide polymorphisms. SNPs spell the difference in the genetic code of each person. If the SNP appears more often in persons with similar disease than those without, it is then believed to directly affect the susceptibility of that person to the disease

These methods are often used by scientists to gather more evidence about the addicted user from their families. It is also used in biochemical experiments for the verification of the link between genetics and the risk of addiction. With these findings, there is hope for the development of new approaches to intervention or a new treatment. Rehab Near Me wants to help you live the life you want. One of sobriety and freedom.



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