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Alcoholism is Hereditary

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Droz, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    I would be inclined to believe that it is hereditary, basing from my experience. My dad was an alcoholic and my older brothers and I didn't fall far from the tree. But unlike diseases that that can be passed from parent to children, we can choose not to drink alcohol.
  2. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Yes, I think deanokat said it best, genetics plays a role, but I think it has to do more with choices that a person makes over their lifetime. Modeling is probably more important than genetics when it comes to alcohol. However, it is up to the individual whether they want to start drinking or not. Some people have an awareness of how much alcohol they are consuming as well.
    greybird29 likes this.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I still have a hard time believing that just because my parents drank, that automatically means that I will also.

    For me it's a matter of choice, and if I'd have said I didn't want a drink, then I wouldn't have started drinking, my genes didn't force me into it, so to speak.
    Zyni and greybird29 like this.
  4. djdrug

    djdrug Community Champion

    Hmm.. considering that my father was an alcholic and none of his sons( 4 of us) even touch alcohol except on festive occasions, I would think that such a research did not take my family into account. And, Bill Clinton's father was a raging alcoholic, but Bill doesn't have a drinking problem either. I can think of a ton of other such examples.

    I think the point is that a kid who sees a parent facing the problems associated with alcoholism would not ever do it, for the simple reason that the scars would never have healed. I mean I know that none of us smoke or drink because our father used to do both in excess. We learnt our lessons!
  5. henry

    henry Community Champion

    It doesn't really matter if it's hereditary or not. The only way you can get addicted to something, is if you do it every day. If you only have a few drinks on the weekend on social occasions, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Also, people think getting addicted to something is an easy thing, when in reality, it takes quite some time to get addicted to something.
  6. bonzmistrz

    bonzmistrz Member

    Hello everybody, well I come from a long line of alcoholics on my dads side and always told myself I didn't want to be that way. Think is I know I like to drink. I am not a fan of beer but after drinking some jaeger or vodka give me an ice cold miller. I try not to drink but again if it's around and in front of me, the likely hood of not drinking is about 45percent. I really don't like to be this way and wish I wasn't. In that sense it makes me feel like it is hereditary.
  7. lost247

    lost247 Active Contributor

    My husband's father is an alcoholic, which has made my husband a bit more aware of his own drinking. Years ago, he quit drinking completely, but after realizing that he isn't his father and doesn't have the issues he's clearly medicating, he discovered that he can safely and moderately drink. He has never had an issue with alcohol, but is constantly reminded what can happen if he goes down that road. It's devastating to watch someone you love destroy their health, but you cannot help those who do not want to be helped.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @pwarbi... I don't think anyone's saying that just because somebody's parents drank, it automatically means they will, too. But I do believe that addiction is partially genetic, and I believe that the child of someone who has struggled with addiction has a higher chance of struggling with addiction, too. Of course, if someone never takes a sip of alcohol, they will not become an alcoholic, no matter what their parents did. But how many people do you know who have never taken a sip of alcohol?
    greybird29 likes this.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Being an ex-alcoholic myself, I know very few people personally who have never taken a sip of alcohol, but there are many people out there who haven't.

    If people are saying that alcoholism is hereditary, then what they're saying is that they're born with the craving, and while some people are born with an addictive personality, I don't think it's for one specific substance when alcohol is concerned.
    greybird29 likes this.
  10. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I am a bit skeptical about this study. I personally don't think that it is the soul cause, you might have a predisposition to it but only one person can make you an alcoholic, and that is your self.
    greybird29 likes this.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I don't think anyone is saying people are "born with the craving." I think they're saying that people can be born with a predisposition for addiction, so if they try alcohol or drugs they are more likely to become addicted because of the way their brain is wired.
  12. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I think it's more like a addictive gene that is passed along. Not necessarily alcohol, but the need and want to have an external excess to make you feel complete. My parent were alcoholics and drug users. So battled with it all the time during my early 20s. Only after time and mistakes did I learn to accept my faults and move forward.
    deanokat likes this.
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I do think it is. After all both of my biological parents were alcoholics. I grew up with my alcoholic mother, lost contact after a while with my bio ''dad'' when I was younger. On his side of the family there are a lot alcoholics, his dad was one of them, same with my uncles and cousins.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Well that's not what people are saying at all. The thread is that alcoholism is hereditary, not addiction in general.

    It's already been proven that some people are more susceptible to addiction because of their personality, that of course is what they're born with. I accept that, but I don't think it goes further and then exactly WHAT substance your going to become addicted to can also be known.
  15. Notworthit08

    Notworthit08 Member

    Not mentally strong enough to fight the urge?! So if you have that urge to drink, maybe you just don't have enough will power?
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Well being mentally strong is another term for willpower, and if you lack that, then your obviously going to find anything and everything difficult. I myself was an alcoholic and that meant that I didn't have the willpower to control my drinking, but I also found controlling anything I did tough.
  17. Hozyboy

    Hozyboy Active Contributor

    Wow. It is hereditary? I always thought so too.
    My grandfather was alcoholic. My father, uncles, cousins.
    Basically every male in my family has been an alcoholic or is still one.
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    But that doesn't mean to say that you will be aswell. Like I've said before, the weakness and the being prone to addiction might very well be in the genes but that doesn't mean that alcoholism is.

    If you don't drink, then the simple fact is that you can't become an alcoholic no matter how many other members of your family are.
  19. greybird29

    greybird29 Active Contributor

    Through my experience I have observed both sides of this debate. I have seen children of alcoholics from the same family act entirely different than each other. One may be a full blown abusive alcoholic just like a parent, parents and or other relatives. Another may be strictly against alcohol in any form and another may drink in moderation with no issues. It would be difficult for a expert to identify what made each child react the way they did and grow to be the adult they became.
    pwarbi likes this.
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    And thats why I'm not entirely convinced that people can say that alcoholism is hereditary. As you say you can get two children, both with alcoholic parents but one will turn into an alcoholic but the other one won't.

    Surely if it was in the genes then they'd BOTH turn out the same way?
    greybird29 likes this.