Chat Day Live Question on Genetics

Video Length: 2:12

[Dr. Jack Stein speaking]
We asked you to send us
some questions by video, and
we’re going to answer them live,
right in front of you, with

some of our scientists here.

So, we’ve got--let’s go
to our first question,

that we’ve got, right
now on this hour.

And it’s from Cyril, who is
in Saint Francis High School in

Minnesota, and let’s hear
what Cyril has to say.

[Cyril speaking]
Is drug dependency genetic?

[Dr. Jack Stein speaking]
Thanks for that question Cyril.

To answer it we’ve
got Dr. Maureen with

the National Institute
on Drug Abuse.

Thanks for being here.
Dr. Maureen Boyle speaking]
My pleasure.

[Dr. Jack Stein speaking]
And Cyril’s
question has to do with

drug addiction and its
relationship to genetics.

Can you help us answer?

[Dr. Maureen Boyle speaking]
So, about 50 percent of
the risk for addiction is

genetic, and the other 50
percent is environmental.

So, it’s things like stress,
your family, and your friends,

and how much access
you have to drugs.

Wow, so, half the chance
is related to genetics.

So, what does that mean, then,
in terms of the likelihood of

doing something about
preventing having

a drug problem or
getting it treated?

What that means is, even if you
do have a genetic risk for

addiction, there are things that
you can do to shore up

that other 50 percent.

So, having strong
family relationships,

having friends that don’t
do drugs, having, you know,

access to activities and
community activities that can

protect you from
the risk of drug use.

[Dr. Jack Stein speaking]
So, just because it may, quote
unquote, run in one’s family,

doesn’t necessarily mean you’re
going to develop a problem.

There are things you
can do to prevent it, and

there are certainly things
we can do to help people

who have problems.

[Dr. Maureen Boyle speaking]

There are well-designed
prevention interventions that

address these factors that have
been shown clearly to prevent

drug abuse and addiction.

[Dr. Jack Stein speaking]

Hey, thanks for
being with us today.