There’s a gene that makes you susceptible to addiction –

What is Substance Use Disorder?

Revealing genetic dependence and correlations. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

Recently, as an actor was investigated for drug use, the term ‘substance use disorder’ appeared frequently. A substance use disorder is a condition in which a person is unable to stop or control the use of a particular substance repeatedly, even though cognitive, behavioral or physical problems arise. This substance activates the brain’s reward system to give pleasure, but the highs are so strong that you crave the substance and neglect your daily activities. Addiction to alcohol or nicotine also falls into this category.

Last month, a study came out that found a genetic influence on ‘substance use’ disorders, or addiction. A research team led by Dr. Alexander Hatum of the University of Washington through the genome data of more than 1 million people and found that substance use disorders can be inherited and are affected by complex genetic interactions.

The researchers used a ‘genome-wide association’ technique used to identify specific genes involved in various diseases. A holistic study of genetic factors for disease and drug response revealed regions of the genome associated with general addiction risk, as well as alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and opioid analgesics.

“The strongest influence on addiction comes from regions of the genome that regulate dopamine signaling,” Hatum explained. In other words, genetic changes in the regulation of dopamine signaling are at the heart of addiction.

The study found that having a genetic pattern that affects the regulation of dopamine signaling can lead to two or more substance use disorders at the same time. It can also be accompanied by mental and physical illness, including mental illness, suicidal behaviour, respiratory illness, heart disease and chronic pain conditions.

Dr Joshua Gordon, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, said, “Substance use disorders and mental disorders often co-occur, and it is effective to tackle both problems at the same time .” “The genetic mechanisms revealed in this study show the importance of considering material and mental illness at the same time,” he added.

“The discovery of genetic risk variants provides insight into the mechanisms underlying the disease and the mental health relationship,” said Dr. George Kubb, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction. ” he emphasized.

In the United States, 46 million people over the age of 12 suffered from at least one substance use disorder in 2021, and approximately 107,000 people died of drug overdoses during the same period.


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