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Alcoholism Can Be Hereditary

Many families where alcoholism is present have more than one family member that it affects, which can make it easy to jump to conclusions about the causes.  People growing up and seeing their close family members struggle with alcoholism may worry they are automatically going to end up as an alcoholic, simply because their parents or siblings are.  There does appear to be a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, with children being four times as likely to develop the disease if they have alcoholic parents.  Yet, having an alcoholic parent doesn’t mean you are automatically going to become an alcoholic.

People who suffer from alcoholism have brains that are wired slightly different.  Their internal response to certain pleasurable acts can be more intense, making the development of dependency happen more quickly.  Genetic factors aren’t the only determining factor of alcoholism.  Environmental circumstances also play a huge part in the contribution to the disease.  Growing up seeing those around you constantly intoxicated can lead you to believe that type of behavior is normal.  

The type of friends and acquaintances you make can also make a difference in your propensity towards alcoholism.  It has been shown that children who consume alcohol under the legal drinking age have a higher chance of developing alcoholism.  The legal drinking age was created with science in mind.  The brain does not stop developing until you’re in your 20’s, and regularly consuming alcohol while it’s still developing can alter growth and maturation, making you more susceptible to alcoholism.

Even if you don’t participate in underage drinking, alcoholism still has the possibility of sneaking up on you later in life.  Alcohol is a drug, and it is highly addictive.  Ensuring that you drink in moderation as an adult will keep you from crossing the line into alcoholism.  Often times, alcoholism can feel like a line in the sand, where one day you feel okay having one drink, and the next you want to keep going.  Heavy drinking is described as 4 or more daily drinks for men and 3 daily for women, or 14 weekly for men and 7 per week for women.  However, alcoholism is more clearly defined by the way it affects your life.  If you have developed cravings and a loss of control over those obsessions, have built an increased tolerance, and your body feels physically dependent on alcohol, you may be suffering from alcoholism.  There is help available to you to get your life back on track.  

If you need help for addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We offer medically assisted detox and we are equipped to treat dual diagnoses, including depression. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.