Genetic factors in alcohol self-administration

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The realization that alcoholism is, in part, genetically determined has raised important questions regarding the nature of what is inherited when one inherits a predisposition toward high alcohol drinking. Rodent lines that have been selectively bred for high alcohol intake are excellent models of alcohol dependency. These animal models can be used to identify heritable biological characteristics that are associated with, and may be causally related to, high alcohol drinking and to investigate the efficacy of pharmacologic, environmental, and behavioral agents that have the potential to alter alcohol drinking behavior. In this paper, I review evidence that the endogenous opioid system plays an important role in mediating genetic differences in alcohol drinking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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