Studies have shown that no gene or set of genes will directly cause a person to become a drug abuser or engage in drug taking behavior Genes are important in the control of behavior. If a gene is absent, a protein that controls the development or function of a physiological system may not be produced. In certain cases the impact may be obvious, such as in the case of mental retardation or certain diseases. In other cases the impact of genes on behavior may be less obvious but just as important in a person’s development. This is the case when genetic factors produce a tendency or predisposition to respond in a certain manner. Such is believed to be the influence of genes on a number of behavioral traits and disorders, including alcoholism and drug dependence. Thus, genes are not the sole determinant of alcoholism or drug dependence, but their presence or absence may increase the likelihood that a person will become alcohol or drug dependent.
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