The Genetics of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence

About the Course:

Alcohol dependence and dependence on other drugs frequently co-occur, and strong evidence suggests that both disorders are, at least in part, influenced by genetic factors. Indeed, studies using twins suggest that the overlap between dependence on alcohol and on other drugs largely results from shared genetic factors. In recent years, researchers have identified numerous genes as affecting risk for dependence on alcohol and other drugs. These include genes involved in alcohol metabolism as well as in the transmission of nerve cell signals and modulation of nerve cell activity.

Journal/Publisher:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Publication Date:

Volume 31, Number 2, 2008

Authors

Danielle M. Dick, Ph.D.; Arpana Agrawal, Ph.D.

About the Authors:

Danielle M. Dick, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychiatry, psychology, and human genetics at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.

Arpana Agrawal, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about the genetics of alcohol and other drug dependence. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the genetic epidemiology of alcohol and other drug (AOD) dependence.

  2. Identify specific genes related to AOD dependence.

  3. Explain conclusions drawn from genetic studies, including mechanism of action and addiction implications.

Exam Questions

All exam questions for the course are visible on this page for members of Addiction Counselor CE.

Membership is free, and you can sign up today! You'll only pay when you're ready to purchase a course.

If you're already a member, please login to see the exam questions for this and all other courses.

Exam-related Actions