Various studies have shown that there is a strong genetic risk to AUD and it is about 50% inheritable, making it three to four times more likely for a biological child of a person with AUD to develop the same disorder. Other risk factors for developing AUD are mental illness like depression, drinking from an early age, and experiencing a traumatic event or events. In some people, a variant with reduced activity is present, resulting in more severe symptoms of intoxication.

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. There are also countless environmental factors (work, stress, relationships) that may lead to alcoholism. “A family history of AUD increases the risk of a biological child suffering from AUD. The inheritance is about 50%, ranging from 40% to 60%.”

If My Parents are Alcoholics, Am I Going To Be An Alcoholic?

Some detox facilities in the United States specialize in drug rehab while others focus on alcohol rehab, but many are blended. A sober living home (often called a halfway house or transitional living home) is the next step and helps to establish a routine of sobriety and healthy living. Therapy and social support components as offered in sober living housing, rehabilitation programs, AA meetings which use the 12 step program are a cornerstone in addiction treatment. Environment affects how genes are expressed, and learned behaviors can change how a person perceives drugs or alcohol. Peer pressure to drink alcohol is one of the top predictors of underage drinking. Combine peer pressure with other adverse childhood experiences and you’re primed for a substance use disorder.

  • A desire to impress their friends and fit in can supersede the risk they know is involved.
  • However, as the relationship progresses and you get to know each other better, if you notice that the drinking behaviors are problematic and don’t say anything, your inaction is enabling the problem to continue.
  • Partly — heredity is only responsible for about half of one’s risk of alcoholism.
  • With addiction, we always recommend being compassionate yet proactive and to seek alcohol addiction help immediately if the problems with alcohol in your family have progressed into a dangerous situation.
  • By Buddy T

    Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.

Choices are influenced by your environment, friends, family, peers, access to alcohol and social situations. 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.

Understanding Genetics

“Conversely, there are factors that protect against the development of AUD such as good self-control and self-discipline, neighborhood resources, and parental monitoring and support,” says Adinoff. If the affected person can function, doctors often refer to them as a functioning alcoholic. The disease often progresses relatively inconspicuously and slowly, usually over several years. Sufferers can be unaware of the severity of their illness and may deny it altogether.

To date, individual GWAS
studies on alcohol dependence and related phenotypes have been relatively modest
in size, and most do not reach genome-wide significance. This may reflect both
the limited sample sizes and the clinical and genetic heterogeneity of the
disease. As noted above, the functional ADH1B polymorphism is
not represented on GWAS platforms; GABA-receptor genes are often nominally
significant but well below genome-wide significance in these studies. Thus, the
genes and SNPs found through GWAS have had little overlap with previous findings
based on candidate genes/pathways and linkage analyses. Some genes playing a role in the condition correlate with the development of reward. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to AUD, which means they have a higher risk of developing the disorder due to specific genes they inherited from their parents.

Will I Become an Alcoholic If My Parents Are?

If you’re feeling hopeless, look around, find those who can lend a hand, and then take the first move. You can get your health to revamp after you get treated for the ailments such as alcohol abuse. Whether you or someone you love experiences alcohol addiction or you see a history of alcoholism in your family, recovery is possible. Some studies demonstrate the genetic predisposition to develop the disease of alcoholism. That is, some people do not tolerate alcohol, and their consumption causes headaches, nausea, etc., even in small quantities.

is alcoholism inherited