Alcohol Abuse Is Hereditary

Some genes increase a person’s risk and others decrease the risk directly or indirectly. For example, some people of Asian descent carry a gene variation that alters their rate of alcohol metabolism. This causes them to have symptoms like flushing, nausea, and rapid heartbeat when they drink. People who experience these effects tend not to drink, which helps protect them from developing AUD.

What are the four types of drinkers?

Generally, people drink to either increase positive emotions or decrease negative ones. This results in all drinking motives falling into one of four categories: enhancement (because it's exciting), coping (to forget about my worries), social (to celebrate), and conformity (to fit in).

New studies suggest ways to identify those at risk and help prevent them from becoming alcoholics. In these situations, your hereditary behaviors interact with your environment forming the basis of your decisions. If you is alcohol abuse hereditary are more prone to stress, this can make it harder to deal with unhealthy environmental risks, leading you to turn to alcohol to cope. Partly — heredity is only responsible for about half of one’s risk of alcoholism.

Social Factors

A study was done in which scientists selectively bred two strains of mice. The study included mice that were not genetically sensitive to alcohol and those that were acutely sensitive to it. The two strains showed dramatically different behavior when exposed to identical amounts of alcohol. The ability to genetically select for these traits shows that there are genetic bases for them.

is alcohol abuse hereditary

A person with a genetic disease has an abnormality in their genome;an individual with a hereditary disease has received a genetic mutation from their parents’ DNA. Genetic influence has only been shown to account for about 50% of alcohol abuse disorders. There are numerous other factors that can lead someone to develop this condition, one of the most significant being an individual’s personal environment. If you have a family member who suffers from alcoholism, this doesn’t mean that you are going to become an alcoholic yourself. But your odds of developing a dependency may be higher because of this relation. Still, genes only make up about half of your risk for alcoholism.

Is Alcoholism Hereditary What the Research Shows

Instead, these are groups of other people who have alcohol use disorder such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Your peers can offer understanding and advice and help keep you accountable. Genetic studies can only help predict a propensity for alcoholism and can help in preventing the disease if you are aware of your risk. Until then the best outcomes begin with professional assistance. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has found that children of alcoholics are four times more likely than other children to become alcoholics.

is alcohol abuse hereditary

If you find you are exhibiting signs of alcoholism, seek treatment as soon as possible. Children of alcoholic parents or grandparents often struggle with problem drinking themselves. More recent studies digging deep into the science behind this disease are trying to discover if there is a genetic predisposition for alcoholism. Some even believe a single alcoholism gene could be responsible. They plan to continue investigating those links between genetic susceptibility to alcohol dependence and risk for other types of psychiatric illness. If you worry about hereditary alcoholism, you need to pay particular attention to the “right choices” in drinking.

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