Nature Versus Nurture: Addiction

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Running Head: Nature and Nurture: Addiction

Nature and Nurture: Addiction
John Walden
Valley Forge Christian College

Nature and Nurture: Addiction

Abstract
Recent studies have indicated that the ongoing debate about addiction is being re-analyzed to incorporate an integrated theme. Some of this scientist refuses the idea while others search for peace in the midst of this chaos. The idea of this study is to present both views. First, the distinction of nature must be identified in the application to addiction. Second the idea of nurture must present in the role it plays in addiction. Last, the integrated theme must be presented. The integrated theme is the primary goal of this research. How does this work? Why does it work?

Nature and Nurture: Addiction
Despite the many arguments that are presented in the constantly ongoing debates about gay rights or abortion, facts present themselves on each side whether pro or con. These truths are sometimes hard to prove, leaving one to decide their own belief or opinion. The nature versus nurture in addiction debate has the same repetitive problem. The question becomes who is right, and who is wrong, or are they both factual? There are good reasons for both sides of this controversial debate, and whenever a dispute like this ends in a tie, there are reasons to believe that one or the other could be falsely presented. There are certain facts that can be argued on both sides of this topic. Every addict has a mother wondering what went wrong with her child. The biggest debate has been whether genetics or the environment plays a larger role in human development, and therefore shapes the person. Two 17th century philosophers, Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, argued over whether unseen factors or the environment had a greater effect on behavioral development (Gottesman and Nelson). Throughout years of study there have been many different topics that have emerged from this subject. In the late 1800s, a cousin of Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton, introduced the idea of nature versus nurture (Gillham). Centuries later, this is still an ongoing issue especially in the field of addiction. There have been multiple theories and ideas that have emerged from the nature versus nurture in addiction argument. However, there are three entities that still linger in this debate: Does nature play the dominant role in drug addiction? Or is it nurture that is the prime factor? Perhaps nature and nurture combine as an integrated factor, it remains to be studied and argued for years to come…. Human nature refers to the distinguishing of characteristics, including the ways of thinking, acting, and feeling that humans tend to have naturally aside from culture and environment. At the University of Minnesota, a group of behavioral geneticists are running an ongoing project called the Minnesota Twin Study. During this research twins are selected that were separated at birth, to not only be united, but to study whether or not genetics or the environment distinguishes characteristics of each individual (Harris, 2009). This study was not directly correlated to drug use, but some of the genetic facts and environmental facts, would still be useful in the conquest of discovering more about the “addiction nature”. It is true that some twins or siblings have similarities even if they were separated during childhood. The nature of a child is the prominent variable in this ongoing study. Another research done by, “Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., Director of the Psychiatric Genetics Research Program at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School in Richmond, and his team of researchers sought to clarify the structure of genetic and environmental risk factors by scrutinizing the symptoms of dependence on cannabis, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Participants in the study consisted of nearly 5,000 members of male-male and female-female pairs from the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and...
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