Addiction to psychoactive substances is a debilitating condition underpinned by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. At present, a key challenge for research is to delineate how, at a molecular level, these influences become "biologically embedded," contributing to the onset and persistence of addictive behaviors. Recently, epigenetic processes that regulate gene expression have emerged as a potential mechanism of interest. In this commentary, we discuss the relevance of epigenetics to addiction research, starting with the current state of knowledge, what challenges we have yet to overcome, and what the future may hold in terms of research methodology and translational potential.
Cecil, C. A. M., Walton, E., & Viding, E. (2016). Epigenetics of Addiction: Current Knowledge, Challenges, and Future Directions . Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(5), 688-691. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2016.77.688