Does alcoholism run in families? Doctors and scientists have long suspected that there is a genetic component to alcoholism, and a growing body of work suggests that they are right. Scientists have yet to identify the specific gene, but it is important to note that having a genetic risk for becoming an alcoholic does not mean that you will become one. In fact, knowing that you have an increased risk can help you make informed decisions about drinking.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves. A landmark study in Sweden chronicled alcohol use in twins who were raised in separate adoptive families. The twins born to alcoholic fathers had much greater incidents of alcoholism, regardless of whether alcoholism was present in their adoptive families. Still, doctors suspect that environmental factors play a role in alcoholism, regardless of any genetic link.
If you are concerned about your drinking habits, Las Encinas Hospital of Pasadena can help. Your road to recovery starts with a call to our addiction treatment facility. Learn more about our substance abuse programs by calling (888) 348-2165.