Etiology of Addiction – Genetic Theory Model

The Genetic Model of addiction is a biological model. It is a medical approach which supports the fact that people are predisposed to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Although it has never been proven that genetics are the cause of alcoholism or drug addiction, there is a strong positive correlation between the two. For instance, it has been found that adopted children more closely resemble their biological parents than their adoptive parents when it comes to alcohol consumption and use. If a parent is an alcoholic, their child is seven times more likely to have an addictive personality than the child of a non-alcoholic parent. Studies of twins, adopted children, kids of alcoholic fathers, and animals all supported the idea that addiction is a genetically based disorder leading to a susceptibility to developing the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction. (Margolis, 2011)

The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) was started in 1989 by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The COGA has changed their focus from attempting to determine whether or not genetics plays a part in addictive behavior to figuring out which specific genes are responsible. In other words, according to COGA genetics do play a part in addictive behavior. (Margolis, 2011)

Margolis, R. D., & Zweben, J. E. (2011). Models and theories of addiction. In , Treating patients with alcohol and other drug problems: An integrated approach (2nd ed.) (pp. 27-58). American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/12312-002