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Objective: Determine the prevalence and compare some genetic markers involved in addictive behavior in a group of addicts to the derivative of coca (cocaine/crack) or heroin and a control group of non-addicted people matched for gender, age, and ethnicity.


Methods: A 120 addicts and 120 non-addicts Colombian male were surveyed and genotyped for 18 polymorphismof the OPRM1, DRD2, DRD4, SLC6A3, SLC6A4, ABCB1, DβH and CYP2B6 genes. For allele marker identification, mini-sequencing, and fragment multiplex PCR techniques, the ethnicity of cases and controls was analyzed with 61 AIMs.


Results: The age of onset use of heroin or coca derivatives (cocaine/crack) was 16.5±6 yrs, and 99.2% of them consume several illicit drugs. It showed that controls and addicts belong to the same ethnic group. Significant differences between addicts and controls concerning schooling, marital status, social security, family, history of substance abuse (p<0.001), Int8-VNTR SLC6A3 gene (p= 0.015), and SNP 3435C>T ABCB1 gene (p= 0.001)were found.


Conclusion: The present results indicate that the VNTR-6R polymorphism of the gene SLC6A3 and the genotype 3435CC in the ABCB1 gene are both associated with addictive behavior to heroin or cocaine.

Carlos Isaza

Pharmacogenetics Research Group, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pereira, Colombia

Julieta Henao

Pharmacogenetics Research Group, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pereira, Colombia

Leonardo Beltrán

Genetical Medical Laboratory, Pharmacogenetics Research Group, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pereira, Colombia

Liliana Porras-Hurtado

Genetical Medical Laboratory, Pharmacogenetics Research Group, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pereira, Colombia

Martha Gonzalez

Genetical Medical Laboratory, Pharmacogenetics Research Group, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Pereira, Colombia

Raquel Cruz

Institute of Forensic Science, Genomic Medicine Group-CIBERER, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Angel Carracedo

Institute of Forensic Science, Genomic Medicine Group-CIBERER, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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Isaza, C., Henao, J., Beltrán, L., Porras-Hurtado, L., Gonzalez, M., Cruz, R., & Carracedo, A. (2024). Genetic variants associated with addictive behavior in Colombian addicted and non-addicted to heroin or cocaine. Colombia Medica, 44(1), 19–25. https://doi.org/10.25100/cm.v44i1.1039

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Received 2012-02-13
Accepted 2013-02-11
Published 2024-06-26