Multiple Substance Use Disorders May Share Inherited Genetic Signature; “Study Represents Major Advance in Understanding How Genetic Factors Predispose People to Substance Use Disorders;” Findings Might Lead to Universal Therapies for Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, Opioid Addiction

A new study suggests that a common genetic signature may increase a person’s risk of developing substance use disorders, regardless of whether the addiction is to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or opioids. The research, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, eventually could lead to universal therapies to treat multiple substance use disorders and potentially help people diagnosed with more than one. Published March 22, 2023 in Nature Mental Health, the study’s findings are drawn from an analysis of genomic data from more than 1.1 million people of mostly European ancestry and a smaller population of people of African ancestry. The open-access article is titled “Multivariate Genome-Wide Association Meta-Analysis of Over 1 Million Subjects Identifies Loci Underlying Multiple Substance Use Disorders.” 

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