Heredity and alcoholism

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Alcoholism is seen as a phenomenon that a person is developing on its own, but there are arguments about the existence of hereditary and genetic components of alcohol dependence.

Many experts believe that alcoholism can come from a variety of sources including social, genetic and psychological factors. Because alcoholism is a disease, this is influenced or caused by different things, so the social environment and the genetic structure of a person.

To find solutions for treating alcoholism, researchers are trying to find genetic sequences that make people vulnerable to developing alcoholism.


1. Overview
2. Heredity and alcoholism – genes
3. Heredity and alcoholism – environment
4. Heredity and alcoholism – behavior of alcoholic’s children

Heredity and alcoholism – genes

It is true that alcoholism tends to be passed on from parent to child and one of the explanations for this phenomenon are genetic factors that influence an individual’s propensity to become alcoholic.

There are also other factors that influence alcoholism installation, including the environment in which children are raised. However, not all children from alcoholic parents turn into some alcohol dependents. About half of children of alcoholics not show this addiction ever, even if both parents are alcoholics. There is, however, in their case, a higher risk in that direction.

Researchers indicate a connection between alcoholism and heredity; together, genetics and environment are interconnected and predispose to alcohol dependence. Scientists are looking for genes that influence a body to inherit the alcohol dependency.

It is believed that there isn’t only one gene, but many, however, the link between heredity and alcoholism is in the early stages of research. Genetic studies of alcoholism are important because they can help prevent and improve the methods of treatment of this condition.

Heredity and alcoholism – environment

To explore the links between genetics and alcoholism, the researchers are trying to find out how much can the environment, in which a person grows, to make him vulnerable to developing alcohol dependence.

Studies to date suggest that a person has an increased risk of becoming an alcoholic if he was raised in a family with parents who abused of alcohol or drugs, accompanied by an atmosphere of violence and family stress.

Heredity and alcoholism – behavior of alcoholic’s children

Children from alcoholic parents may have other characteristics than high risk for alcohol dependence when they grow. They may be predisposed to drugs consumption, higher stress levels, poor performance at school or work and adjustment difficulties.

Evolution of alcohol dependence is linked to a person’s character structure, feelings and behavior in society.

According to studies, children from alcoholic parents may have:
- High risk for drug and alcohol dependency, both during adolescence and adulthood.
- Can become addicted to gambling or have other serious vices, as well as adults.
- Permanent state of tension, restlessness and stress, which can’t overcome, even at adulthood.
- High levels of anxiety and depression unlike the others, both in childhood and adulthood.
- Poor performance at school, including lower grades and difficulty to get along with teachers and other students, difficulties of integration.
- Problems related to overcoming stress and conflict.
- Difficulty in understanding that they are not special and have not special qualities compared to other children of their age. To this end they always seek appreciation and acknowledgment.
- Risk-prone personality and desire to always be the center of attention.
- Impulsive and violent behaviors.

These disadvantages arise whether children were raised by alcoholic parents or not, as long as the biological parents are alcoholics. This is where the inheritance of alcoholism makes its presence felt. Relationships, pressure, emotional events, lack of parental guiding and easy access to alcohol can all contribute to an increased risk of developing alcoholism.

Children of alcoholics can live in unstable environments that may predispose to the onset of stress and depression. These children may begin to perceive alcohol as something normal, a proper way to handle stress. While all these may indicate heredity as the underlying cause of alcoholism, actually the environment can have a very important influence.

In order to help children who are predisposed to alcoholism, there are many organizations that provide support systems and support freedom of speech, but also counseling at an early age. Schools often provide programs (useful for children that were born from alcoholic parents) that promote avoidance of alcohol and drugs. Heredity does not influence entirely, a child to become an alcoholic.

Although it should be clear that a child whose parents are alcoholics will not necessarily become addicted to alcohol because of inheritance should be noted also that a child with parents deprived of this condition could manifest alcohol dependence during adulthood.

Children in families of alcoholics are exposed to situations that they consider to be normal, while a person outside the family may have the impression that these situations affect them. Sometimes, however, these children can become alcoholics. However, heredity is only a factor of vulnerability to alcohol dependence. Environmental factors play an essential role.



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