The Link Between Genetics and Alcoholism
People who have a history of alcohol abuse are more at risk of developing a drinking problem. Studies show that alcoholism is owed to genetics by about 50%.
Among those abusing alcohol, people who are genetically susceptible to alcoholism have a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder. Though people will inherit alcoholic tendencies, the start of alcohol use disorder is also attributed to social and environmental factors.
The Alcoholic Gene
There is no one gene responsible for alcoholism. There are, in fact, many genes in a person’s DNA that will increase the chance of developing alcohol use disorder.
Individuals with mental illness also have a higher risk of abusing alcohol as a way of coping or self-medicating.
Environment vs. Genetics
Some people may experience a traumatic event and will turn to alcohol to self-soothe.
Risk factors include:
- Aggressive behavior in childhood
- Lack of parental guidance or supervision
- Poor social skills
- Alcohol and drug experimentation
- How accessible alcohol is
Preventative factors include:
- Parental supervision
- Performing well in school
Who is in Danger of Developing Alcoholism
If you have at least one relative who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction, you have the genes that put you at risk.
- Living a healthy lifestyle
- Abstaining from alcohol use
- Managing stress
- Seeking relationship counseling
- Maintaining healthy friendships
Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
It is never too late to get help for alcoholism. If you are worried about your drinking and know that you have a predisposed genetic risk of developing alcoholism, it is important to seek help urgently.