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This is significantly higher than the 45% of people who drink alcohol and have an annual household income of less than $30,000. In recent years, studies have explored a possible connection between your environment and risk of AUD. For example, many researchers have examined whether or not a person’s proximity to alcohol retail stores or bars affect their chances of alcoholism. People who live closer to alcohol establishments are said to have a more positive outlook on drinking and are more likely to participate in the activity.

Is There an Alcoholic Gene?

It is a multifaceted and complex disease, so while someone may inherit a predisposition to the disorder, genes do not fully determine a person’s outcome. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA), women who have no more than 3 drinks on a given day and no more than 7 per week are at low-risk for developing AUD. Get professional help from an addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. It makes you aware of triggers and may motivate you to seek additional help from a counselor or support group.

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Pink Shares She Nearly Died After Overdose at Age 16.

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Some alleles that reduce heavy drinking can,
nevertheless, increase risk for disease in the subset of individuals who drink
heavily despite having them. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior. Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and is alcoholism hereditary stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. The more you turn to alcohol to ease feelings of pain and hardship, the more your body becomes tolerant to the drug and relies on its effects. Co-occurring alcohol abuse and mental health conditions, like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia, can cause an array of serious side effects.

A common question about substance abuse is whether it’s hereditary.

The incidence of alcoholism was slightly higher among people who were exposed to alcoholism only through their adoptive families. However, it was dramatically higher among the twins whose biological fathers were alcoholics, regardless of the presence of alcoholism in their adoptive families. When examining whether someone is prone to substance abuse because a blood relative suffers from it, it’s important to understand the full context of all contributing risk factors. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, also referred to as NIH, reinforces that addiction is a brain disease. He could not maintain his house, his life nor meet his own care needs.

is alcoholism hereditary

The risk of alcoholism is considered just as much environmental, social, and behavioral as it is genetic and heritable. Research has suggested that it’s a combination of the above risk factors as well as genetics that could determine whether or not you develop alcohol use disorder. In the study of complex disorders, it has become apparent that quite
large sample sizes are critical if robust association results are to be
identified which replicate across studies. Unfortunately, studies of alcohol
dependence have not yet attained these sample sizes. Meta-analyses, which
combine results across a number of studies in order to attain the critical
sample sizes needed, are being developed.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Triggers become engrained in addiction, so it’s valuable to recognize these cues, avoid them, and replace them with new behaviors, such as calling a sponsor or loved one when craving alcohol, which can help avoid a relapse. Childhood trauma can fuel problematic drinking in adulthood, because the person might use alcohol to cope with feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, or grief. Compared to people without a drinking problem, men and women who sought treatment for alcohol addiction had a higher prevalence of childhood trauma, research finds. Furthermore, the greater the abuse or neglect experienced, the more severe their drinking problem was. Therapy can help people who suffered as a child to address those challenges and develop healthier coping skills.

Scientists are learning more and more about how epigenetics can affect our risk for developing AUD. At Gateway, our rehabilitation center offers individualized care and counseling to get you on the road to recovery. We can help you tackle any social or environmental triggers contributing to your alcohol abuse. Our compassionate team is here to help with evidence-based treatment programs.

Identifying these genes is difficult because each plays a small role in a much larger picture. Yet studies have shown that certain combinations of genes have a strong relationship to alcoholism. People with a family history of alcoholism have the highest risk of struggling with alcohol use. However, environmental and social factors can increase or reduce this genetic risk.

is alcoholism hereditary

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