Not What the Doc Ordered: Prescription Drug Abuse

There are drugs that are prescribed to patients for treating certain conditions, but when someone starts to use them in a way that was not advised by the doctor, then that is a problem. Some would even take drugs prescribed for someone else or take drugs for a reason other than for treatment. Prescription drugs are one of the most frequently abused substances, along with marijuana and alcohol.

One of the reasons for drug abuse is because some people find the effects stimulating and they would start craving for it even when they do not really need it. It can get to a point where people cannot control their ability to make sound decisions anymore and the medicine ultimately affects their life in a negative way; so much so that they take extreme measures such as stealing prescription medicines from family and friends to sustain their addiction. Continue reading

Does Genetics Influence Alcoholism?

If one parent in a certain family is alcoholic, it stands to reason that one or more of the children may follow in that parent’s footsteps. The question is: does genetics really play a role in alcoholism?

According to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, there might be a link. Their study showed that genetic factors indeed affect how people perceive and taste alcohol, which then influence whether an individual will prefer consuming alcoholic beverages. This is due to two specific bitter-taste receptor genes and a single burn receptor gene, which affect how “bitter” a substance tastes like to a person. Researchers subsequently found out that this “bitterness” varies from person to person, with lower bitterness leading to liking and vice versa. Continue reading