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Can You Inherit Alcoholism?

Can You Inherit Alcoholism?

Genetic factors greatly affect one’s risk for alcoholism

Alcoholism is prominent in America, and it can affect people regardless of age, gender, social stature, wealth and location. Although the disease does not discriminate, many people have a predisposition to it due to genetic factors. The common view that alcoholism runs in families is somewhat true, but the disease cannot be directly inherited; however, certain genes make people more susceptible to alcohol abuse and dependence. Different types of genes occur within families, and the following examples all predispose San Diego residents to alcoholism:

  • Alcohol-specific genes – Specific genes directly affect metabolism of alcohol along with one’s physical and psychological responses to drinking. These genes may make San Diego residents more susceptible to the effects of alcohol, and they may also encourage excessive consumption.
  • Genes that affect neuronal pathways – Certain genes affect pathways in the brain that govern the pleasure and reward systems, behavioral control and stress management. These genes typically make people more prone to drink to relieve stress, but they may also reduce one’s ability to control herdrinking during a sitting. Furthermore, these genes may increase the pleasure of alcohol consumption.

A study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse found that genetic factors account for somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of one’s risk for alcoholism. The other contributing factors often have to do with one’s environment or a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The following environmental factors can encourage San Diego residents to become alcoholics:

  • Availability or proximity – Many neighborhoods have an increased availability and proximity to bars and liquor stores, whichincreases the likelihood of heavier alcohol consumption
  • Social attitudes – Cultural and social acceptance of alcohol consumption affect someone’s comfort with alcohol abuse
  • Advertising – The alcohol industry spends nearly 4 billion dollars every year advertising their products and promoting consumption through comedic and seductive measures
  • Policies and enforcement – Alcohol consumption policies and law enforcement vary significantly between different countries, which affects the risks of alcoholism
  • Affluence – The wealth in San Diego neighborhoods also affect one’s likelihood of abusing alcohol

When people are genetically predisposed to alcoholism and their environments are conducive to alcohol abuse, then the risk of alcoholism can exponentially increase. San Diego residents in such situations need professional treatment to avoid to numerous risks of alcoholism.

Treatment for San Diego Alcoholics

If you or a San Diego loved one struggles with alcoholism, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment program that will work for you. Break free from alcoholism and call us today.