Obviously, the fact that people can be genetically programmed to have a tendency towards alcohol abuse and alcoholism is pretty much common knowledge nowadays. While some people might be able to shake off a few drinks or a full bout of shots, others can become victims after one round of drinking alcohol. However, what specifically programs us to respond to booze in this manner? What forces us to lose control of human logic and succumb to animal urges? Based on reports, one little gene (and other factors) may hold the key to solving this mystery. Let’s take a closer look at the possible connection between alcoholism and a special gene.
Unlocking the Code
In a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (2011), a team of researchers led by Dr. Carmen S. van der Zwaluw (Radboud University, Netherlands) sought the truth regarding genetic predisposition to alcoholism. As part of the program, the team assessed a group of 228 Dutch adolescents who, at some point in their lives, had consumed alcoholic drinks and administered a series of questionnaires to the subjects. Additionally, Zwaluw’s team conducted DNA tests to support the brunt of the experiment.
Genes Play a Factor
Ultimately, the Dutch group discovered variations in the DRD2 gene (dopamine receptor), which controls reward pathways, and the SLC6A4 gene (serotonin transporter), which governs the emotional response center. As a result of the test, Zwaluw and her colleagues discovered that a risk allele in the DRD2 (not the SLC6A4) indicates a genetic weakness for alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism down the road. Remarkably, though, the group speculated that this genetic vulnerability may only take effect when the person suffers from extreme stress and/or takes the first drink of alcohol.
Simply put, the Dutch research team discovered a connection between genes and environment. Helle Larson (a candidate for a PhD at the Radboud University Behavioral Science Institute) has stressed the importance of this study, which has determined the connection between poor coping rationale and the consumption of alcohol was notably stronger among subjects with an allele weakness.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or alcoholism troubles today.