The Role of Genetics in Substance Abuse

  • John C. Crabbe
  • John D. McSwigan
  • J. K. Belknap
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)

Abstract

Many factors clearly influence substance abuse. Our goal in this chapter is to acquaint the reader with a literature devoted to the hypothesis that an individual’s unique genetic constitution is one important factor. We believe that the studies performed during the last 20 years strongly imply that some humans suffer from a genetic predisposition to develop alcoholism. Extensive animal experiments corroborate this hypothesis and have begun to offer clues as to what, exactly, may be inherited. There are virtually no experiments demonstrating familial patterns of abuse for substances other than ethanol. Nonetheless, a growing animal literature demonstrates that responsiveness to opiates and barbiturates is also influenced markedly by inheritance. A few studies suggest that responsiveness to all psychoactive substances tends to be inherited to some degree.

Keywords

Inbred Strain Recombinant Inbreed Selective Breeding Blood Alcohol Concentration Physical Dependence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Crabbe
    • 1
  • John D. McSwigan
    • 2
  • J. K. Belknap
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Service, VA Medical Center, and Departments of Medical Psychology and PharmacologyOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Research Service, VA Medical Center, and Department of Medical PsychologyOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of PharmacologySchool of Medicine, University of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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