The whole genetic component to addiction and the outrageous claims of an addiction gene can be confusing.  I must admit I’ve had trouble analyzing this topic because there is so much conflicting information.  I do know that the most widely publicized information, Blum and Noble’s claims of an addiction gene, was front page news when they initially made news – but later, when 7 seperate studies failed to confirm the findings, it didn’t get so much coverage.  Anyways, I think both Gene Heyman, and Stanton Peele have written well on the subject, so I’m sharing Stanton Peele’s latest discussion of genetics and addiction with you.  Here’s two excerpts, and be sure to check out the rest at this link:

For some time, the pursuit of the human genome has convinced Americans we are on the verge of discovering the genetic causes — and cures — for everything. This hope has been boosted by the general scientism (worshiping at the mantel of what is supposedly scientific) of American culture, and mythical — often faked-up — descriptions of identical twins reared apart who are perfect replicas of one another. Like the German-born Nazi and Jewish brothers (now that’s a difference, isn’t it?) who both flushed the toilet before urinating, or the English twins who “never met” but who wore seven rings on exactly the same fingers (wonder where that gene is?). In fact, identical twins reared apart can be unrecognizable as siblings, while those reared together vary in highly significant ways (most sets of identical twins are discordant for homosexuality — that is, most often when one is the other isn’t).

We have emerged into the post-genetic-inheritance era, where we are facing the limitations on what our DNA can tell us about ourselves and how we can modify our lives, individually and collectively. In this brave, new world, we may be ultimately responsible for how we behave, including whether and how we change, as well as influencing (I won’t say causing) our children’s life trajectories, including psychological problems they encounter. But haven’t engaged parents always accepted this responsibility, even as we have experienced the humility of learning that many things besides parenting contribute to our children’s destinies?

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