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(111,832 posts)
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 05:29 PM Dec 2020

A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism

Many lab studies treat animals as if they were identical, and any variation in their behavior is just unhelpful noise. But in Augier’s work, the variation is the important bit. It’s what points to the interesting underlying biology. “This is a really good study,” says Michael Taffe, a neuroscientist at the Scripps Research Institute who studies drug addiction. “Since only a minority of humans experience a transition to addiction, [an approach] such as this is most likely to identify the specific genetic variants that convey risk.”

That is exactly what the team did next. They compared the alcohol-preferring and sugar-preferring rats and looked for differences in the genes that were active in their brains. They focused on six regions that are thought to be involved in addiction, and found no differences in five. “But in the sixth, we did,” says Heilig. “And it made me smile because I started out doing my Ph.D. on the amygdala.”


This is a well written article, well worth the read. It explains what is certainly one biochemical difference contributing to addiction and will possibly apply to other addictions.

I've always thought four things about true addiction: it's hard wired, it's rare, most of it stems from self medication, and it's different from dependency.

7 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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A Landmark Study on the Origins of Alcoholism (Original Post) Warpy Dec 2020 OP
I'll give it a read. Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2020 #1
The first time I saw my ex take a drink I knew it was a possibility Warpy Dec 2020 #3
Indeed. Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2020 #6
interesting about the 15% figures Kali Dec 2020 #2
One of the helpful drugs is called "a terrible drug". keithbvadu2 Dec 2020 #4
All the off the shelf drugs produce dependency at this point Warpy Dec 2020 #7
Great cross post for Addiction and Recovery Group. littlemissmartypants Dec 2020 #5


(15,675 posts)
1. I'll give it a read.
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 05:41 PM
Dec 2020

I'm a member of a 12 step program and certainly knew once I sipped my first drink, I was already thinking of the next one...……….


(111,832 posts)
3. The first time I saw my ex take a drink I knew it was a possibility
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 05:49 PM
Dec 2020

and told him so. He blew it off, but people have told me he tells that story at meetings now.

Now you know you're not a moral weakling and never were. It's chemistry and something you're going to have to cope with in healthier ways. Seems like you're doing that, one day at a time. So is my ex, I'm glad to say.


(55,093 posts)
2. interesting about the 15% figures
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 05:45 PM
Dec 2020

well the whole article, but that is interesting in terms of the mammalian propensity/susceptibility


(37,597 posts)
4. One of the helpful drugs is called "a terrible drug".
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 06:09 PM
Dec 2020

One of the helpful drugs is called "a terrible drug".

It may develop its own addiction/dependency.


(111,832 posts)
7. All the off the shelf drugs produce dependency at this point
Mon Dec 14, 2020, 06:48 PM
Dec 2020

Psychedelics have shown promise, but just try getting them. Tribes here in NM are reporting a lot of success using peyote ceremonies.

There is good news out there,


It's safer because it doesn't cause heart attacks, a drawback with the natural substance.

Baclofen is actually a useful drug in late stage multiple sclerosis. It does have an upper limit, and people who take it to control cravings reach that upper limit pretty quickly, making it deadly.

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