Your genes determine your physical and behavioral traits, which come from your parents. Because of that, you might wonder if alcoholism genetic too. Knowing your risk for alcohol use disorder can help you make better decisions about drinking.
Is Alcoholism Genetic?
Scientific evidence that genes affect the likelihood of alcohol addiction continues to build. Researchers have yet to identify a specific gene. However, studies on animals and humans suggest that genetics play a major role.
For instance, data shows that children are four times as likely to suffer from alcoholism when their parents have it. In fact, about 50 percent of the risk for alcohol use disorder is in DNA.
Genes That Impact the Likelihood of Alcohol Abuse
Rather than there being a single gene for alcohol addiction, there are hundreds. Each one can amplify the risk. Because of that, having a certain combination or many of them increase that risk.
In addition, behavioral genes may influence people’s tendency toward alcohol abuse. For instance, mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression can run in families. Since people with mental conditions are likely to self-medicate with drugs, their risk for alcohol addiction rises 20 percent. For this reason, it’s essential for an alcohol addiction treatment center to offer dual diagnosis treatment.
Also, sensitivity to stress is a behavioral trait that people get from their parents. It makes it harder for them to deal with stressful jobs, trauma, and unhealthy relationships. As a result, they’re more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which leads to addiction.
The Impact of Other Risk Factors
While genetics account for about half of the risk for alcoholism, environmental factors affect the risk too. For example, some people are around drugs often because their friends use. Eventually, they could give in to peer pressure so that they feel like they fit in. This environmental and social factor is evident on college and university campuses, where drinking is a common occurrence.
Addiction Doesn’t Always Develop
Fortunately, the fact is alcoholism genetic doesn’t cause people to develop the disease. Although the genes make them more vulnerable, they only increase the risk when people drink. Those who know that they have a higher risk can implement early prevention techniques.
Mainly, they should moderate or avoid drinking to prevent the disorder. This strategy might involve choosing friends who drink responsibly or going only to parties that don’t serve alcohol.
Visit Us for Alcohol Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you love has alcohol use disorder, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. Pillars Recovery understands the damage that alcohol can cause in every aspect of life. We offer alcohol detox and rehab that sets you or your loved one on the sober path. Our program will utilize a variety of services depending on your or your loved one’s needs, including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Holistic treatments
- LGBTQ-affirmative counseling
- Family therapy
Learn more about is alcoholism genetic when you or someone you love gets treatment. Find the help that you need at our addiction recovery center. Call us at 866-782-0247 to take the first step toward sobriety.