Chapter

Ethnicity and the Subjective Effects of Alcohol

Travis A. R. Cook and Tamara L. Wall

in Mind-Altering Drugs

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165319
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165319.003.0006
Ethnicity and the Subjective Effects of Alcohol

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This chapter examines ethnic differences in responses to alcohol. Specifically, it discusses the subjective effects of alcohol on Asians, Native Americans, and Jews. Recent studies have shown that genetic variations in the enzymes that metabolize alcohol lead to individual differences in the subjective effects of alcohol, typically in the form of increased sensitivity to its effects. It is also recognized that these gene variations are associated with lower rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders, and possibly other substance use and substance use disorders. Causes of decreased intensity or more pleasurable effects associated with alcohol or other drug use in ethnic groups, whether such variations exist, and to what extent they are genetically and environmentally influenced, remain currently unanswered questions.

Keywords: alcohol use; alcohol effects; subjective effects; ethnicity; Asians; Native Americans; Jews; genetic variations

Chapter.  13053 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

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