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Understanding the Role of Genetics In Alcohol Use Disorders


Do you have a sibling or parent with an alcohol addiction? Are you worried that a family history of alcoholism might make you more susceptible to it, too? Genes can affect your chances of suffering from many conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and alcoholism. Yet as the following information demonstrates, even with a strong presence of alcoholism in your family, it need not determine your own addiction.

Impact of Heredity

If you have immediate family members who suffer from alcohol addiction, it does raise your risk of alcoholism as well. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, though, heredity is only one factor for alcoholism and accounts for approximately 50 percent of an addiction danger. So while genetics is a key component in the development of alcoholism, if you have a family history of this disease, you can still avoid succumbing to it.

Influence of the Environment

Do your coworkers go to the corner bar each night after work? Do you spend most of your time with friends who enjoy drinking to the exclusion of other activities? If so, these scenarios can contribute to your risk of alcoholism just as significantly as your family history of the disease. If your environment presents ample opportunities for alcohol consumption, it can trigger an addiction problem.

Knowledge of Risk Factors

If you know that alcoholism runs in your family, integral to avoiding it is controlling your environment. When you are encouraged to drink with friends or fellow employees, and you already carry genes that predispose you to alcoholism, it can tip the scales in favor of you developing a problem. By recognizing your inherent risk and taking steps to control other addiction dangers, you can prevent a future addiction problem.

Let Las Encinas Hospital help you take the first steps toward having an addiction-free future. If you suffer from alcoholism, our confidential addiction treatment services can provide you with the support system you need to regain control of your life. Call our Pasadena facility today at (888) 348-2165 for more information.