Is alcoholism genetic? Top harm minimization strategies

alcoholism hereditary, treatment process, substance abuse problems

Is alcoholism genetic or hereditary?

Is it genetic for someone to be affected by a drinking problem? Many American families struggle to cope with alcoholism. People want to know whether it is legal to drink, unless their relatives can. They want children protected to help their growth in health as an adult and not be exposed to alcohol. What are some ways in which alcohol can negatively affect my life? It’s also a difficult question for someone with an addiction to alcohol.

Gene plays an important role throughout a person’s existence. In fact, genetic influences are responsible in virtually everything that people have in common. The most prevalent behavior trait transmitted via DNA is predisposition to alcohol abuse and dependence. An estimated 12 million adults in America suffer from drinking. The yearly death rate in America rises from alcohol and drug abuse. Individuals using alcohol or having an addiction have higher rates of alcohol abuse.

Is alcoholism inherited?

There are many reasons a person might want to know whether an alcohol addiction in their household runs in the family. However alcoholic parents are more likely than nonalcoholic to have a drinking habit and to develop addiction.

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues are extremely common –  roughly 50 percent of people with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse. Self-medication for mental health problems is common and can lead to addiction. 

Alcohol addiction and genetics

Our genes determine every characteristic of humans. Biologically, genetics determine physical traits (e.g. color of the eyes). Genetics were passed onto us by our parents. Parents have the tendency towards alcohol abuse in their mind as well as a strong underlying psychological tendency towards alcohol addiction. In the case of alcohol misuse, individuals with genetic predispositions have higher risks of the occurrence. Though a person may erect a personality disorder due primarily to the influence of alcohol on their behavior, the onset and maintenance of a drinking habit are also linked to social factors.

Remember that a combination of environmental factors and genetic predispositions lead to alcohol use disorders. So, there are various things you can control in your environment to try to avoid developing a problem.

Environment Vs. DNA

Genetic makeup is a major factor in determining how much alcohol you have and how many calories. Many environmental factors may cause alcoholism as a result. Our genetics interact with our environment which determines what makes a decision. Some people may feel more stressed because they’re more susceptible to the stress that occurs with the fast pace of life and relationships. Many of them are traumatized and turn to alcohol as an option for recovery. Even those with high genotype risks for drug abuse must have a non-hereditary factor before doing so. Alcoholism is usually caused by environmental factors like work stress and work-related stress.

The “Alcoholic Gene”

No one gene can control alcoholism exclusively. Hundreds of genes can be found within human DNA which increase the potential for causing an alcohol-dependent disease. Identifying this gene can prove challenging because all are only part of one picture. However, research shows some genes may be connected strongly to alcoholism. Similarly, behavior genes can cause alcoholism. Mental illness is more frequent in individuals who are in their parent’s history. People suffering from PTSD are more likely to turn to alcohol and other illicit drugs.

Following Parents’ Example of Drinking

Children of children with parents experiencing alcoholism have an up to fourfold higher rate of alcohol abuse than peers. But having greater likelihood does not necessarily equal destiny. Those who are vulnerable can help them grow without using alcoholic beverages. It’s not always clear how alcohol affects children regardless of their past history. Alcoholism can be identified on varying terms from person to person. Typically it means people with alcohol who have consumed it every night to stay healthy. Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol that occurs physically.

Considerations for prevention of future alcohol problems can include: Knowing about family history of alcoholism. Identifying if your current situation is classified as “high risk” Identifying unhealthy coping strategies in family members Knowing common symptoms of alcohol abuse and taking action when they arise

Is alcohol tolerance inherited?

Alcohol tolerance means equal amounts of alcohol result in less effect over time, and hence require greater quantities of alcohol to experience the desired effect. The gene influencing alcohol tolerance isn’t inherited. This happens if the drinker consumes excessive amounts for a longer duration. Nevertheless alcohol intolerance is genetically inherited. Most frequently observed in Asia, dissenting people drink intolerance. Usually when alcoholic drinkers get skin flushed after they drink alcohol they get sore nose, eyes and rash.

identifying youngsters at risk of becoming alcoholics and could lead to early prevention efforts. What this means for family members of alcoholics is that you are not necessarily going to abuse alcohol yourself. However, your odds of developing a dependency are higher than others.

How Genetics Influence Alcohol Addiction?

The study shows the influence of a genetic factor on alcoholism in a 40-50 percentage range. The results showed that individuals with an older age are more likely to suffer from alcoholism if their parents have not been diagnosed with any genetic disorders. A study also shows that people with alcohol addiction may also develop alcohol abuse problems. More specific individuals who mainly enjoy the pleasing effects and not the harmful effects of alcohol are more prone more frequently to drinking or drug abuse.

Environmental factors that affect alcoholism

Genetics alone are estimated to be less than half the likelihood of developing alcoholism. A range of environmental factors can also influence whether or not someone develops alcohol addiction. Environmental risks for alcohol addiction are believed to be the key factors. Even those with a genetic predisposition will experience environmental factors which lead to actual alcoholic consumption. Depending on environmental factors, the higher the chances are that someone develops an alcoholism symptom.

Drinking at an Early Age

Alcoholism can be a major threat if the children drink before they are 14. When young children are able to drink alcohol and become aware of this problem they can start to drink earlier in life. They have seen behaviors by individuals with drinking histories which could have been triggered by environment. Recent research shows drinking after the age of 14 increases the risk of being an alcohol abuser or becoming addicted.

Can a person be born with an alcohol use disorder?

Due to interactions between genes and environmental factors people cannot be born with alcohol-dependent disorders. Although individuals are genetically predisposed to develop alcohol abuse disorders, genetics only account for about half their overall risk. Other predispositions come from social and environmental influences which are encountered throughout childhood and life.

Knowing which genes are involved in creating an elevated risk for an alcohol use disorder can help researchers to match treatment to genes. For instance, the addiction treatment drug naltrexone may work on specific genes. Psychotherapy may also effectively target certain genes versus others

Can alcoholism be eradicated?

The risks associated with acquiring a substance or having a substance use disorder are numerous. No single “alcohol gene” can lead to an alcohol abuse disorder. researchers have identified over 650 locations within a single genome, finding at least 526 variants. Genes related to alcohol metabolism are associated most strongly with drinking problems.

Environmental factors for alcohol use

Environmental influence has also contributed significantly to drinking addiction, either individually or as part of the interaction among others. These may include childhood, upbringing, social or family circumstances.

Growing up around alcohol

The exposure of young people to alcohol is likely to normalize it, but a lack of parental positive encouragement could potentially open up a dangerous path to self-deception. Growing up around alcohol doesn’t necessarily cause one to have alcohol abuse and it increases the chances of alcohol consumption which may sow a seed that will eventually grow.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

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