Scientists have unpicked the brain processes involved in teenage alcohol abuse and say their findings help explain why some young people have more of a tendency to binge drink, Reuters reports. The wire service continues:
“A study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal found that a gene known as RASGRF-2 plays a crucial role in controlling how alcohol stimulates the brain to release dopamine, triggering feelings of reward, Reuters reported. Alcohol and other addictive drugs activate the brain's dopamine systems, which induces feelings of pleasure and reward.
“Worldwide, some 2.5 million people die each year from the harmful use of alcohol, accounting for about 3.8 percent of all deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Recent studies also carried out by scientists at the IoP have found that RASGRF-2 is a risk gene for alcohol abuse, but until now the mechanism involved in the process was not clear.”
“People seek out situations which fulfill their sense of reward and make them happy, so if your brain is wired to find alcohol rewarding, you will seek it out," Schumann said in a statement about the research. "We now understand the chain of action: how our genes shape this function in our brains and how that, in turn, leads to human behavior."
It’s hard to imagine that a gene is responsible for a teen’s choice to binge drink. Why would God make us with genes that predispose us to sin? Some may argue that no good thing dwells in our flesh and God created our flesh. But our flesh wasn’t sinful until Adam fell. So what causes teen binge drinking? A gene? A demon spirit? Or just the sinful desires of the flesh?