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Re: causes of addiction Elizabeth

Posted by Alan on February 27, 2002, at 9:04:41

In reply to Re: causes of addiction Alan, posted by Elizabeth on February 27, 2002, at 0:43:04

> I'm interested in the phenotype: how does the predisposition express itself in persons who do not become alcoholics? Is there a way for us to identify the predisposition with some certainty *before* the person becomes an alcoholic? (that would be damned useful)
> We haven't figured out the genetics of it yet (and it's going to be very complicated so don't expect anybody to find out soon). That's why I'm interested in looking at it on this level. I want to come up with some method for predicting who is at risk.
> I think that it's some sort of temperament or temperamental traits that are inherited and that predispose a person to alcoholism. So what I'm wondering is: what is that temperament?
> We don't yet know enough about the genetics to be able to do a gene test to find out who's at risk, who is predisposed to become an alcoholic. So I'd like to know whether we could get an idea of whether someone is predisposed based on temperament and other characteristics. [Note that an "at risk" person may not have *any* alcoholic family members.]
> I'm also interested in whether there's a specific predisposition for alcohol (or other drugs), or whether it's a general tendency to become addicted ("addictive personality").
> BTW, regarding rats: you may be interested to know that some folks at UMass have bred rats who prefer morphine, rats who are indifferent to it, and rats who don't like it. (It took years, which shows some serious commitment.) I love this stuff (animal experimentation, not morphine).
> -elizabeth
Speaking of personality traits, University of Chicago's psychologist Heinz Kohut wrote about narcissism and the self in his ground breaking field of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology in two books "the Analysis of the Self" and later in "the Restoration of the Self". All part of Psych 101 classes everywhere now.

But is there some kind of conclusive research delving into what tends to motivate that person (chemically or socially - nature/nuture) to act on those narcissitic urges - to cross the line so to speak?....That is central to their personality? I don't know.

Perhaps this is a starting point. Is this more in the direction of what you're talking about? Or perhaps do you think the theory of narcissistic personality to broad an angle from which to start?

BTW, the UMASS rats seem to almost be shouting some answers to us. Maybe in our lifetime, I don't know.





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