While browsing the internet in search of a good topic for my blog entry, I came across this article. The article talks about the research done on 50 pairs of brothers and sisters of which one was a drug addict and other was not. It was a surprise to me that the article only talked about genetic causes for drug addiction - abnormality in the fronto-striatal systems of the brain related to self-control, and nothing about environmental causes. Apart from personality traits, various social situations could also lead to drug addiction: bad friends, bad breakup, medical conditions, etc. How can those factors be missed in a study about drug addiction?
There was another article, not too long ago, stating that mental illness and drug addiction may co-occur. In that, researchers attribute the dual diagnosis to come from a common cause due to developmental changes in the amygdala. This led me to think, that the lack of self control may not be the only cause of drug addiction. Since self control or the lack of it is contagious, it is more likely that drug addiction can be behavioral than inheritable. Do you agree?
Many of us have some things that we cant control ourselves, like the inability to put down a good book, the urge to eat a dessert or snack after a good meal, the tendency to watch a game even before exam day, the need to hit the gym everyday - Does that mean that we have a brain abnormality related to controlling behavior?