Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

Alcoholism is influenced by both hereditary and environmental factors. Addictions, particularly addictions to alcohol tend to run in families and it is known that genes to play a role in that process.

Research has shown in recent years that people who have/had alcoholic parents are more likely to develop the same disorder themselves.

Interestingly, men have a greater propensity towards alcoholism in this circumstance than women. People with lowered inhibitions  are at an even greater risk for becoming alcoholics. 

The two main characteristics for becoming addicted to alcohol stem from having an immediate family member who is an alcoholic and having a high-risk personality. 

A person with a high-risk personality is one where he or she has lower inhibitions and thrives on taking risks in most all situations. 

If a person comes from a family with one or more alcoholics and likes to take risks, they should recognized that they are at what is considered high risk for becoming an alcoholic.

Recent studies have determined that genetics plays a vital role in the development of alcoholism but the exact genes or genetic pathways to addiction have not been found. 

At this time, it is thought that the genetic tendency toward alcoholism in a person does not ensure that he or she will become an alcoholic but instead just means that those people feel the effects of the alcohol more intensely and quickly. 

In effect, the determination of genetic risk is only a determination of higher risk toward the addiction and not necessarily an indication of future alcoholism.

There was a gene discovered in 1990 called the DRD2 gene. This is the first gene that has proven to have any link toward affecting the outcome of alcoholism in humans.

Again, considering the way this particular gene works, the person with the DRD2 gene would be thought to have a greater pull towards the effects of alcohol compared to someone without the gene but having DRD2 does not guarantee alcoholism in the person.

The urgent desire to detect a gene responsible for alcoholism is due in part to the urgent need to help determine people who are at high risk when they are children.

It is thought that this could help stop them from becoming alcoholics in the first place.

It has been proven that these people should not ever take their first drink of alcohol but with children drinking alcohol at younger and younger ages it is not always possible to stop them before discovering their genetic tendency toward alcoholism.

If this can be determined at an early age and children raised to understand that taking that first drink for them could very likely send them down the road to alcoholism, it may cut down on the number of alcoholics in the future.



Regardless of a genetic tendency toward alcoholism, it is still a conscious decision to choose to drink and to get drunk. 

It has been said that the person with the genetic predisposition to alcoholism is an alcoholic at birth whether or not he or she ever takes a drink. 

Taking the drink initiates the disease into its active phase.  The ability to stop drinking before becoming addicted lies ultimately in the hands of the drinker.

 
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What is the Attraction To Alcohol
Alcoholism is a Widespread Problem
The Difference Between Alcohol Dependence And Alcohol Abuse
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 1
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 2
A Brief Summary Regarding Alcoholism
Alcohol Abuse and the College Campus
The Brain And Alcohol
Health Risks For Women Alcoholics
Holiday Survival Guide For The Alcoholic
How A Child See's Alcoholism
Alcoholism Detoxification Steps
Alcoholism and the Workplace
The Children of Alcoholics
Common Questions About Alcoholism
Tests for Alcohol Use
Do All Alcoholics Need a Rehab Center
The Dangers and Penalties Of Drinking and Driving
The War On Drunk Driving
How To Determine When Someone Needs Professional Help
Some Facts About Alcoholism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Diet Hints To Assist With Alcoholism Withdrawal
Helping Someone To Overcome Alcoholism
Alcoholism Risk Is Linked to Early Aged Drinking
A Portrait Of An Alcoholic
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Basic Facts About Alcoholism
Hard Facts About Alcoholism
Cautions Concerning Non Alcoholic Beer
The College Campus And Alcoholism
Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 1-6
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 6-12
What Causes An Alcoholic Blackout
New Shot to Treat Alcoholism
Alcoholism's Physical Effects
Group Support For Alcoholism
Threats From Alcoholism
The Truth About Alcoholism
Treating The Three Main Issues In Alcoholism
Treatments for Alcoholism
Vitamins and Supplements For The Alcoholic
Recovering From Alcoholism
Help Your Teen Avoid Becoming An Alcoholic
What Is Alcholism
Family Members Drinking Too Much
Explain Alcoholism
Who Are The Alcoholics
Women Fighting The Consequences of Alcoholism
Al Anon Support For The Alcoholic's Family
Health Consequences Of Alcoholism
Medications Used For Treating Alcoholism
Screening Tests For Alcoholism
What Is The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
What the Bible Says About Alcohol Abuse
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol without AA
The Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholism - Curable or Just Controllable
The Causes of Alcoholism
So How Much Drinking Really Is Too Much?
Is Alcoholism Hereditary
What Children Need to Know About Alcohol
How to Recognize When Children are Drinking
What You Need to Know about how to Set Up an Intervention for an Alcoholic
How to Quit Drinking Without Gaining Weight