At some point or another, you or someone around you has probably asked the question: is alcoholism genetic? The notion that alcoholism runs through familial bloodlines is not a new idea, nor is it a complete one. There are other determining factors that contribute to a person becoming dependent on alcohol, such as environmental factors and how those interact with genes.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism refers to the dependence on alcohol or the development of a mental illness as the result of an alcohol addiction, such as borderline personality disorder. Alcohol is one of the most highly abused substances in the United States; and according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 36 people die per day and 700 people are injured due to alcohol-related circumstances.
Taking a Closer Look
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research shows that genes are responsible for about half of the risk of developing alcoholism, which suggests that genes alone cannot determine whether a person will end up with an alcohol use disorder.
Epigenetics and Gene Expression
As scientists further study the role of genes in the development of substance use disorders, they have become further pulled to the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics can be understood as the controllers who guide how genes express themselves, which can be turned on or off by biological mechanisms.
As a newer field, epigenetics could help us to further understand the differences in people’s tastes or underlying causes that influence the development of a disease. Epigenetics is everywhere and can be influenced by what we eat, where we live, who we associate with, patterns of sleep and exercise, and more.
Alcoholism and Genetics
When considering the dynamics of chemical dependency, epigenetics has the potential of relaying further information regarding underlying causes that determine a person’s vulnerability to developing a dependence on alcohol.
Regardless of the genetic nature of alcoholism, alcohol addiction is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. In severe cases, if a person attempts to quit cold turkey, withdrawals can be fatal. Finding the proper treatment to not only aid in detoxification but also treat other underlying illnesses possibly existing in tandem with the addiction, such as depression or trauma, is essential toward affecting a total recovery.
First Step Center Luxury Rehab
In addition to offering treatment for alcoholism, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client at its inpatient residential treatment center. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized program tailored to meet specified needs.
We offer programs and therapies like:
First Step Center also offers:
Is alcoholism genetic? It may be some more time before we have an answer, but we do know that alcoholism is treatable. Alcoholism is a serious disease that is devastating American families nationwide. To find out more about alcohol addiction treatment at First Step Center, don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Call us now at 866.832.6398.