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Alcoholism and Drug Addictions

  1. Carol A Prescott

Published Online: 15 JUL 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005230



How to Cite

Prescott, C. A. 2006. Alcoholism and Drug Addictions. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2006

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 JAN 2016)


Evidence from family, twin and adoption studies indicates that genetic variation contributes to individual differences in risk for addiction to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, and may contribute to comorbidity of addictions with other psychiatric disorders. Molecular genetic studies with animals and humans are helping to identify specific genes involved in drug-seeking behavior, which may improve understanding of the etiology of addictions and lead to new pharmacological treatments.


  • genetic epidemiology;
  • drug abuse;
  • twin studies;
  • adoption studies;
  • alcoholism;
  • addiction