E. Should knowing that there is a genetic susceptibility to addiction change how society views and treats addiction? What about the addicts themselves?

Say, worldwide, genetics was known to be factor in addiction susceptibility. Would it, or rather should it, change society's perception of addicts? Perhaps. Should it change their treatment? Certainly not. Merely knowing that genetics plays a role in addiction changes very little in practical application, for it reveals next to nothing about the individual at hand. Rather, it is likely that global knowledge of phenomenon would absolve addicts of guilt. Perhaps some addicts would use this generality to blindly attribute their addiction to genetics, or even worse, give up quitting for addiction is "written in their DNA," and essentially out of their control. Abuse to compulsion to destiny? I don't think so.
When using the un-quantifyable variable of genetics to asses the general concept of addiction (rather than individual addicts), however, I believe soceity should make progress. The more attention paid to genetics as a predisposer, the more incentive for research to identify particular genes and establish therapies to, perhaps, reduce gene expression.
In short, knowing that genetics is a risk factor does very little for the individual without specific genetic information, but has the potential to do great things when approached from a researcher's point of view.
-SA

I believe that if everyone knew their genetic susceptibility it would greatly impact society's views, and how they deal with drug addicts. For instance, if one took the test and found out that they have a high addictive potential, then society would try to adminster some sort of a vaccine or would quickly enroll the individual into a prevention program. If one was in court on a drug charge, then there is a good chance that the court would rule more sympathetically with you because they would understand that it is not entirely your fault for easily being addicted to drugs. On the other hand, if you had a low addictive potential, then experimenting with any drugs would put you into greater trouble. It is even possible for one to be immediately deemed guilty in court if they were there for a drug violation. However, for an addict to find out that he or she has a high addictive potential, they should not simply turn around and say I am an addict because of my genes. Whether or not to take a drug is a choice, and one cannot simply turn to their genes as a complete scapegoat. In the end society will be more lenient or harsh to a drug addict depending on their genetic susceptibility for addiction. -VM

Society should not change its views after learning that there are some genes that make certain people susceptible to addiction with certain drugs. THe main point why is because there isn't a gene that makes people take drugs. It is their choice to start abusing drugs, from there, genetics can make them addicted. However, it is a choice that everyone makes when the moment presents itself. It is your choice whether or not to take the drug. Thus, by saying that, society should continue to look down upon addicts. Another reason why is because even though it may be hard to quit, it isn't impossible. There are many medical wonders out there that can help one cope with withdrawal from the drug. The big picture is that each person's choice is what makes them addicted, not what genes they have. Furthermore, the addicts should not believe that their genetics is the only reason why they are addicted. They shouldn't always use it as their excuse; "I'm only addicted because it is in my genetics." That isn't the right attitude, and they should change it to lose their dependence on the drug. All in all, genes might make you vulnerable to addiction, but you are the one who makes the choice to take it the first time.

An person can only become an addict, if they are an abuser. Yes, there are genetic links which make certain people more vunerable to addiction then others, but if you don't put yourself in the position to become an addict, you won't become an addict. Although no one can control whether or not they will become an addict, a person has the control to make the decision to use/abuse any drug. Society shouldn't look at an addict like they are a victim, because ultimetly it was their decision to try, use, and abuse drugs. And the treatment for all addicts should be the same and shouldn't change whether or not the addict has the addicting gene. -MR

To think that people would be more careful and aware if they have an increased chance of damage caused by drug addiction by predisposed conditions would be ideal, but unfortunately, that has been proven unrealistic by previous generations. However, that is not an excuse for not trying. Anti-drug advocates, programs, schools, etc. could/should inform the public of the need to be extra cautious when choosing to use drugs or not due to the possibility that they may have an even higher possibility of becoming addicted because of genetics. This way there is still a chance of saving the people who use drugs recreationally without fully understanding the risks of becoming addicted. Much of society believes that using drugs occasionally does not come to close becoming addicted and resulting in long-term damage or anything else that would cause major problems. However, knowing that some individuals are genetically prone to becoming addicted could alert them not to take drug usage/abuse lightly. Addicts themselves should also know anyways, even if it’s too late for them, so they could hopefully help others around them, especially family members that share those same faulty genes. If they are trying to quit using drugs, then by knowing that they might have been genetically susceptible to becoming addicted could motivate them to push harder and for a longer time to stay clean in efforts to “beat their genes”, sort to speak. Bringing to society’s attention that there is such a thing as genetic susceptibility to addiction is not giving an excuse for addiction or sympathizing with addicts, but rather trying to prevent potential addicts from falling for that pitiful, dangerous lifestyle. - HN


I don't believe that society's views on addicts should change, because not all people with an addiction predisposition actually go onto be an addict. Many have never even abused a drug. The will to not take drugs to begin with is all that a person needs to rely on to ensure their safety against drug abuse. Some people are genetically born with an overweight gene as well. But the only thing that will make them overweight is a lack of exercise and an uncontrolled diet. It is the same with drug addiction. As long as a person has the strength and knowledge to stay away from drugs of abuse, they won't be addicts. If they can not, society's negative views of them are true. -AM

Even though there is a genetic link to drug addiction, that doesn't mean that society should change their views and treatments for addiction. The addicts made a choice to start the drug. They might have known that they had this addiction gene from their parents or other realitives. They should have chose to not take the drug. But, they made the wrong choice and now they have to live with the choice they made. People with a drug addiction and a genetic link to addiction should not be treated any different then someone with the same drug addiction without the genetic link. ES