Study 12 – Substance Abuse and the Dopamine System Genes

Investigator:  Michael M. Vanyukov

Release Date:  Available at NIDA

Abstract:  Variation in the risk for substance use disorder (SUD) results from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Molecular genetic studies may help disentangle these factors.The Substance Abuse and the Dopamine System Genes (SADS) project examines the role of DNA polymorphisms, personality and environmental factors in variation in the liability to SUD. We will evaluate genetic polymorphisms for their association with the liability to substance dependence using family-based and population-based methods; determine the influence of DNA polymorphisms on personality characteristics; evaluate the influence of personality characteristics on the association between the liability to substance dependence and the DNA polymorphisms; and evaluate the effects of environmental factors on the variation in liability to substance dependence and its relationship with genetic polymorphisms.

Even though the effects of single genes may be small, their attributable risk may be large because of a high frequency of high-risk-associated alleles in the population. Their combined effect may be substantial. Moreover, the effect of measures of drug abuse prevention that could be developed based on the knowledge of these genetic mechanisms may be greater that their “natural” contribution to SUD risk variation in the population.



  • Alcohol History
  • Drug Use Chart
  • Drug History

Information on this diagnostic instrument is provided as documenation for the NIDA Consortium, and is to be used for informational purposes only.