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Mind-Altering DrugsThe Science of Subjective Experience$
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Mitch Earleywine

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195165319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165319.001.0001

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Ethnicity and the Subjective Effects of Alcohol

Ethnicity and the Subjective Effects of Alcohol

(p.154) 6 Ethnicity and the Subjective Effects of Alcohol
Mind-Altering Drugs

Travis A. R. Cook

Tamara L. Wall

Oxford University Press

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

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