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By Oriana Josseau Kalant (auth.), Oriana Josseau Kalant (eds.)

Over the decade the realm has skilled a transforming into curiosity in difficulties linked to the nonmedical use of gear. This curiosity has corresponded to a true progress within the volume, range, and social influence of using alcohol and medication in lots of societies. hence, the volume of analysis and writing near to drug difficulties has tremendously elevated, and it has develop into very tough for one person to take care of with all of the correct literature. there's therefore an acute desire within the box for serious stories that determine present advancements, and the current sequence is meant to fill this desire. The sequence isn't really to be an "annual overview" within the ordinary feel. the purpose isn't really to hide the entire paintings said through the previous yr in terms of a set choice of issues. relatively, it's to provide every year evaluative papers on subject matters during which sufficient contemporary development has been made to change the final scope in a specific sector. because of the multidisciplinary nature of difficulties of drug use and dependence, the papers released in every one quantity could be drawn from a number of disciplines. even though, a few volumes might be dedicated to one partic­ ular challenge, with person experiences and papers studying a variety of features of it. The composition of the editorial board and the overseas advisory board displays those ambitions. The editors are individuals of the senior medical employees of the dependancy learn beginning of Ontario.

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But whether the possible correlation between the frequency of alcoholism in parents and children is genetically or environmentally determined, and whether or not this possible correlation applies to both sons and daughters of alcoholics, has not yet been definitively established. Evidence for Scandinavian males based on studies of twins, half siblings, and adoptees born to alcoholic parents strongly supports the notion that a genetic factor is involved. Studies in females are too few to permit any firm conclusions at this time, but those that do exist suggest that there may be a sex difference in this respect.

It is conceivable, for example, that both men and women can inherit a predisposition to become dependent on depressant drugs but that sex-related social factors determine the particular sex choice of alcohol versus other drugs. Indeed, most alcoholics and other drugdependent people are not exclusive users of a single drug; rather, they are mUltiple-drug users, with one or another drug predominating. If it turned out to be the case that there is a genetic factor in the etiology of dependence on depressants other than alcohol, the apparent sex difference in the etiological role of genetic factors would be minimized.

Again, nature provides us with a spontaneous experiment for studying the effect of various hormonal factors in drinking behavior that otherwise cannot be studied experimentally in humans. If our knowledge of the role of female sex hormones in drinking behavior is rudimentary, our knowledge of how these factors affect other drug use is nil. The field is wide open for scientific exploration. In addition to the genetic and endocrine factors considered above, 14 ORIANA JOSSEAU KALANT it is obvious that events and influences in the individual's life history may be precursors of alcoholism.

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