Professor Gilberto Gerra said there is genetic predisposition towards dependency. But just as conditions can exacerbate problematic use, positive social conditions can provide effective intervention. This shows punishment is inappropriate for people struggling with problematic drug use. These are people suffering with a disease and related health conditions.
The long-term effects on the brain of early stress can also be moderated by a caring environment. This shows the importance of a community base in prevention. Improved parenting capacity reduces the level of initiation into alcohol and drugs.
Disease of addiction must be treated at all stages.