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How biology and genetics may influence substance abuse and addiction.

Researchers have long been asking the question of what causes addictive behavior and why some people feel compelled to keep abusing substances they know are harmful and detrimental to themselves. Growing evidence suggests both the biologic and genetic basis of addiction, which may explain this apparently self-destructive behavior.

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Consider how biology and genetics may influence substance abuse and addiction. Think about your position regarding the influence of biology and genetics on substance abuse and addiction.
Then please explain and justify your position regarding the relationship between biology or genetics and substance abuse and addiction.

Researchers have long been asking the question of what causes addictive behavior and why some people feel compelled to keep abusing substances they know are harmful and detrimental to themselves. Growing evidence suggests both the biologic and genetic basis of addiction, which may explain this apparently self-destructive behavior. Although genetic evidence indicates that there is a familial predisposition toward addiction, a common genetic marker for addiction or dependence has not been found. Evidence of neurochemical, neurophysiologic, and psychopharmacologic mechanisms common to alcohol and other drug addiction has been found. The majority of the data regarding the genetic influence of substance abuse are from the alcoholism studies and suggest the influence of genetic factors in its development. The most widely held view of alcoholism is the disease model, the belief that alcoholism is a medical illness or disease. From this perspective, once a person with alcoholism takes a drink, the biochemical effects of the drug on the brain create an irresistible physical craving for more. The disease model holds that alcoholism is a chronic, permanent condition. Genetic studies primarily focus on family studies, twin studies, adoption studies, and those seeking a baseline trait marker of alcoholism. Alcoholism tends to run in families. The closer the genetic relationship, the greater the risk. Familial patterns provide only suggestive evidence of genetic factors, because families share a common environment as well as common genes. Clear evidence indicates that there is some genetic predisposition toward alcoholism and that children of alcoholics have a three to four times greater chance of having this disorder than children of nonalcoholics (Foroud, Edenberg, & Crabb, 2010; Prescott, Madden, & Stallings, 2006; Saxon, Oreskovich, & Brkanac, 2005).

Major studies of fraternal and identical twins also indicate that alcoholism is clearly genetically influenced, but risk of alcoholism seems to be a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. Monozygotic ...

Solution Summary

This essay is an explanation and justification of the relationship between biology or genetics and substance abuse and addiction.

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