The genetics of substance use and substance use disorders

Danielle M. Dick, Carol Prescott, Matt McGue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

53 Scopus citations


The abuse of licit and illicit drugs constitutes one of the leading public health problems in the world. There are tens of millions of alcohol or drug abusers and more than a billion smokers in the world (WHO, 2002). Each year, substance abuse results in the loss of tens of millions of dollars due to health-care costs and lost productivity (Cartwright, 2008; Rehm, Taylor, & Room, 2006). Substance abuse also shortens lives, increases risk for chronic disabling illness, and results in untold social costs in terms of broken families, ruined careers, and violent victimization (Goldman, Oroszi, & Ducci, 2005). While effective treatments for addiction exist, the amelioration of the societal burden of substance abuse will require more effective prevention. Behavioral genetic research in this area is part of a larger effort aimed at improving prevention and intervention efforts by bringing about a better understanding of the origins of substance use disorders (O'Brien, 2008).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Behavior Genetics
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780387767277
ISBN (Print)9780387767260
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009. All rights reserved.


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