Substance abuse is a complex disorder that has many causes. One of the biggest influences is the family. Scientific research shows that both genetics and the home environment can create a circle of family addiction, with one generation passing on addiction to the next.
The Genetic Factor
By studying the rate of alcoholism among adoptees whose biological parents were alcoholic, researchers have found that the children of alcoholics are 2 to 9 times more likely to become alcoholics. The abuse of cocaine, opiates, stimulants and sedatives follow this same pattern. According to the Genetic Science Center at the University of Utah, there is no single gene that is responsible for addiction. Instead, vulnerability to addiction is caused by many interacting genes.
Are you thinking of starting a tobacco habit for the first time? How about resuming an old habit that you thought you’d whipped? Either way, a recent study by the Masonic Cancer Center and the pharmacology department of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis has some really important news for you: Smoking causes DNA damage within minutes of inhaling.
Lead study author Stephen S. Hecht stated in a press release via the American Chemical Society that “The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting smoking.” This study is also featured in the current edition of the journal of Chemical Research in Toxicology, reports the 15 January 2011 issue of Bloomberg Busineweek’s Health Day section. With all these impressive scholarly publications, it does appear that Hecht’s study should be given very strict attention by new smokers, relapsers, and smoking “wannabe” young people.