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What Are Some Facts on Hereditary Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease that has spread itself out from one end of the country to the other. No longer is it a vice that adults partake in. Now, alcoholism is found among young adults, teenagers, and even in newborn babies. Many believe that hereditary alcoholism has a big part to play in shaping the lives of people today.

Hereditary Alcoholism is a Starting Point

Some studies performed by the Canadian government, and health officials, both conclude that there is a role in hereditary addictions, and especially that of hereditary alcoholism. When there is a long-running struggle with alcoholism in the family, the children are generally more apt to start drinking, and at an even younger age than their parents and grandparents. This is because alcohol is more prevalent today than in generations past. It is more acceptable, and therefore, readily available.

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Male Children More Susceptible

It has been shown that the male child is more susceptible to becoming an alcoholic. This has been shown many times through several different studies. What is interesting to note is that the males are also better geared towards successful rehabilitation than women are.

Two Major Links to Hereditary Alcoholism

There are two major criteria that follow those who fall under hereditary alcoholism. The first is if there is already an alcoholic in the home. The other is that of a high-risk type of personality. This is the type of personality with lower inhibitions and seeks out thrills. This type of person will not feel like they will lose anything if they drink, and even thrive off the adventure of it. Coupled with someone who is already a heavy drinker in the family, the potential for falling into alcoholism is greatly increased.

Singling Out a Gene

Researchers have been trying for several years to try and single out a gene that can determine the propensity of someone becoming an alcoholic. However, that gene has yet to be discovered. In 1990, a gene was discovered, called DRD2 that was thought to be that missing link. A closer look revealed that while this gene is not a hereditary marker, it does show that the person will be affected by an alcoholic more severely than someone without it. The age at which children begin drinking is rapidly decreasing. Finding a genetic marker to show up may be too late to stop the initial onset of alcoholism.

Protection and Decisions

The need for finding a gene is something that many researchers are striving towards. This is not only for being able hopefully to prevent the disease from overwhelming another life, but to be able to determine actively children who may be at risk. Of course, determining whether or not hereditary alcoholism will play a part in someone's life is always going to be about the decisions they make. Education, enforcement, and a sound influence in the family are the only ways to guard against the decision to drink or not. By staying active in the lives of children, and teenagers, families can begin to turn the tide of alcoholism and genetics. For those who battle alcoholism, there are some good alcohol treatment programs in Canada where they can beat the addiction. No matter, the genetic people can become free from alcoholism.

 

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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More