Genetics of Substance Use Disorders

Published by Alicia Ferguson on

Genetics of Substance Use Disorders
What is a Substance Use Disorder? 

A substance use disorder (SUD) is a condition when someone struggles to stop using drugs or alcohol even though it causes bad things to happen to their health, relationships, and daily life. Genetic, personal, and environmental factors can make someone more likely to develop SUD. 

Some signs of SUD are: 

  • Withdrawals and cravings 
  • Low self-esteem or sense of self 
  • Negative and irregular emotions 
  • High stress 
  • Emotional dependence 
  • Difficulty in controlling or quitting its use

There are different ways to help people with SUD. Medicine and therapy is the most used treatment to help and care for those with this condition. It’s important to find the right kind of help for each person’s needs. 


How is the research done? 

The researchers want to find a better way to study addiction and substance use problems. They want to learn more about addiction to help treat it and find signs of this condition faster. The team uses  BioVU’s resources to look at different medical information, like medical billing codes, to see how bad someone’s addiction is. The team uses BioVU to find genetic differences between people with and without substance use disorders. This can help find the cause behind SUDs. The team is also looking for specific genetic differences that may be associated with other health outcomes to better understand the genetic factors that contribute to substance use disorders and related conditions. Researchers want to learn more about the genes that cause addiction and related problems.


What is the importance of this study? 

This research is helpful for finding better ways to aid someone battling addiction. This would help scientists figure out how addiction works and how to stop it before it happens. Researchers want to ease any burden SUDs have on the population and help healthcare providers better understand how to care for those with this condition.