We as humans have different genes in our bodies, which led to several responses to different kinds of drugs. So, let’s know more about addiction is a disorder of the brain system due to a number of genetic and environmental factors for developing addiction, multiple stages of addiction are hereditable and react with many environmental sources and genes replications. Addiction is affected by both environmental and genetic factors such as home environment affects and increases the risk of addiction in which family members use alcohol at home breaking the rules.
Genes are considered one of the most important units for all living creatures. The gene is a fundamental genetic unit; which consistence of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). We can get DNA from our parents genetically. Each cell has 2 groups of chromosomes, one of these groups is from the father and the other one is from the mother. The sperm which is from the father and the egg which is from the mother each of them carries one group of 23 chromosomes and these chromosomes include 22 chromosomes in addition to the sex chromosome X or Y. Human genes are different from one gene to another in the DNA amount. For example, some genes have 1000s of DNA and however other genes have 100s of it. Average human genes between 20000 to 25000 gen.
Genes determine almost everything about an organism. it is control inheritance from parents to children. One gen or more than one affects a particular feature. For example, genetic genes determine the qualities of each cell in the body like color in the eye or some diseases such as sickle cell anemia and Huntington’s disease are inherited and are affected by genes. but not all of a person’s qualities are from genes only, there are also environmental factors that can affect the person’s qualities. For example, a child may inherit length genes from parents, but during his life does not get enough nutrition that does not show the qualities of length he has. Moreover, genes control the function of the cell by identifying the materials that you install inside the cell. It determines the structures, enzymes, and chemicals that will be created in them. Basically, genes contain basic information for building proteins, enzymes, and biomaterials needed to build body organs and producing substances (proteins and enzymes) in different organs to perform their functions. It also carries the biological clock in which the organism develops from a fertilized egg to organ formation to childhood, then puberty, maturity, and aging.
Many genes influence addiction
Genes affect addiction, but experts could not find any single genetic change that causes this because each of us has different genetic differences. The tendency towards addiction is that unlike some else diseases, no single gene determines whether a person will suffer from alcohol. For example, people with substance use disorder are a complex feature where they are affected by changes in multiple genes .Not only that, but they are also affected by the environmental agents in which an individual lives, and to have multiple genetic causes and there is a study that shows the range of inheritance risk ranges from 40 to 60.
But also, people who have a genetic predisposition only mean that they are more at risk or that their risk factor is higher than others. Therefore, they should raise the level of prevention and awareness in their lives. A study has shown that addiction disorders range from 0.39 for hallucinogen to 0.72 for cocaine.
Addiction as well depends not only on heredity and ecological factors, but there are more serious factors: psychological, cultural, family and society problems, relationships, trauma and financial status. There are two factors that share into the variance of heredity: the stages of addiction and developmental nature.
Mouse models for addiction
Several years ago, researchers tested mice and laboratory mice strains to find specific traits of addiction. Such as the high preference for some drugs or alcohol, where they have found that individuals who are of the same breed, they are almost identical indicates that they have the same addiction profile while individuals from different chains have significantly different addiction profiles .This was one of the initial evidence containing gene component addiction and researchers learned that they could build lines of animals with highly specific addiction profiles by breeding mice with some addictive traits also that mice born with differences in drug preference, tolerance, belonging, sensitivity and others. the researchers will not stop here, but they are still studying most breeds and animals, and one of the researchers is a Dr.Scott Rogers he studies different strains of mice (right) as he varies in the likelihood of their alcoholism. According to all this finding that researchers would like to reach is to identify similar or identical genes in humans that cause the person to be less or more susceptible to alcoholism.
The reward pathway is fundamental
There is a similarity among the reward pathway and the study of addiction through the fact that food, nutrition and social interaction are important for living not only for humans but also for animals, leading to increased breeding opportunities among animals depending on the availability of needs, which is the first reward path, when they arise, genes that form the reward path are transmitted from one generation to another through natural As a result, genetically transmitted over time becomes a major part of the brain even as the rest of the brain increases selection. Moreover, we conclude that humans and animals both share the reward pathway and most of the genes that govern it, so mice are also prone to drug addiction.
Because many organisms are used according to the genome sequence, when a gene is detected in the organism, researchers then search for a similar gene in humans using a DNA database.
Among the organisms that researchers have used in addiction research are:
- Both chimpanzees and mice have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes similar to the human genes.
- Zebrafish has 25,000 genes and scientists regularly transfer human genes to zebrafish in order to study their functions.
- Fruit flies 13,600 genes.
- Roundworms and Caenorhabditis elegans have 19,100 or about 21 percent of human genes.
How do genetics affect alcohol addiction?
Genes are passed to us through an important transporter (parents)to pass to the coming generation of daughter cells, behavioral traits to perform several tasks, and so several genes have multiple responses to different types of additives such as alcohol used nowadays (alcohol use disorder). Addiction results in various physiological effects such as stress, anxiety, or feeling down and depressed as a response to alcohol usage. Human traits are specified by our genetic structure with the help of the replication and duplication process. The development of alcohol usage is not only influenced by genes and other internal organs but also by simple factors such as social media, how many people around the world are sharing the same interests of addictions and being unable to feel resistant towards it but feeling more attracted to it .well the more the risk factors a person has, the greater the chance of developing an alcohol use disorder or addiction, it’s important to look up for a treatment or medication to avoid a worse result.
Several genes may be led to different feedbacks according to diversities of genders. Some genes had been identified and scientists ensured that genes are connected to the transformation of addiction from parents to daughters or the coming generations in the future and in the present. Treating the family and trying to find a suitable medication is good way to decrease the spread of addiction to the coming generations.
What are the treatment modalities?
So, the ultimate goal is obviously is a drug free state for most people. It is an idea situation but unfortunately it is not a feasible one, especially not in the short term for a lot of addicts, so there are medication that we can use safely to prevent these individuals from relapsing into using illicit substance and basically to help them sustain their sobriety. The two most successful so far are methadone and suboxone. Suboxone is made up of two components, the main active ingredient is buprenorphine and the other ingredient in it that prevents abuse of it in the lock zone.
By standing on the maintenance therapy the addicted individuals can continue going to work living their normal, so how do we treat? It is not one size fits all but one thing is for sure studies have shown that detoxification alone without anything else is not a sufficient treatment for addiction. Relapse following detoxification is very common , so what are advised is you start with detoxification to clear the person of the chemical substance and then you either go to an absence oriented psychotherapy counseling which is not devised or you combine that maintenance therapy to prevent patient craving and withdrawal , tendencyn for relapse, that is the most effective treatment system.
Intro to methadone: methadone is synthetic but it full agonist of this receptor the MU , Fda-approved it is tasted, save and it does its problem with overdose , but for the most part if it’s used appropriately by properly trained physicians on the appropriate patients it suppresses withdrawal symptoms, it reduces cravings , blocks the euphoric effects of drugs for over 24 hours that’s why once daily dosing is enough to keep the patient stable however, there is a major difference between methadone taken intravenously if its abused versus methadone administered in . Methadone maintenance clinic for example, in an oral liquid form to swallow it is highly lipophilic, which means it likes to attaches to fat quickly, so if intravenously given it crosses the blood brain barrier quickly and you get the rush on the drug receptor because it is a full agonist,
Pharmacology when taken orally: however if it is swallowed in liquid form must of it gets taken up by the liver about 90% and then over the 24 hours or 36 hours ,the liver slowly in a steady state release it , so therefore you don’t get that rush that high but you get a steady level of activation of the MU drug receptors
That you don’t go into the withdrawal sickness
Morning dosing and methadone clinic: you take your morning dose at 5 or 6 AM and that’s what you do the healthcare dispense it to you and a certified nurse and physician is present as wall and then you get on with your day .tablets are available of methadone and injectable ampules but these are easily diverted and sold on black market and abuse that’s why methadone clinics reduces their use.
Detox versus methadone: when you compare the two you find that methadone maintenance results in greater treatment retention than an absence only counseling session series and lower use of heroin which was in this study.
Methadone cannot be prescribed in your doctor office: problem with methadone is it due to its problem of overdose it cannot be prescribed in your regular doctor’s office in the primary care setting .For example it has to be dispensed at certified centers that specialize in addiction but there are not enough of these centers to treat all the addicts in our society and that’s when we get into suboxone.
Suboxone: Suboxone was released in 2000 it was the first drug that is FDA approved for the treatment of drug addiction in a physician’s office in an outpatient setting so if the person come to doctor office and decided that they are appropriate for thus treatment the doctor can write a prescription as could for any other antibiotic and they can start their treatment as an outpatient so there is an ease and access more people can utilize this kind of service.
Finally, we see that genes are the main agent that affects and contributes to addiction. The genetics factor varies from one to another and that no specific gene contributes to it. In addition, scientists are still working on a lot of experiments in order for them to know a most of genes, so we should take all the factors of protection by use of treatments and awareness to avoid the risk of addiction, no matter how high in the family tree.