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Is there a genetic predisposition for drinking?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by sllrambleon, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. sllrambleon

    sllrambleon Member

    My grandfather was a drunk, but a weird one at that. He used to drink a couple of times a year, for two weeks at a time. He used to get hammered and stayed drunk for two or three weeks, abusing (although not physically) everyone around him. Since me and my parents don't live with grandparents it didn't affect ME that much. But my brother, who is closer to them had to take **** a lot of the times.
    Moving on, I am in a period of my life where I drink a lot. There is some unhappiness in my life (the reasons for which I will not discuss here) and I found that the alcohol and cigarettes keep it away. I know, I know, but that's what is what makes me feel better these days.
    My question is, are genetics involved in the process of becoming an alcoholic?
  2. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I don't think so. If a child was exposed to an environment where the adults around him frequently drink alcohol, then it would be natural to acquire the same alcohol-prone trait. Other environmental stimuli may break or make his propensity to be alcoholic. For instance, if he already drinks alcohol but to a moderate extent, he may become an all-out alcoholic when something happens that causes him extreme sorrow or self-doubt (e.g. loss of loved ones, broken heart, fired at job, etc.).
    henry likes this.
  3. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I've been reading about that. Children born of alcoholics are 4 times more likely to become alcoholics than those children that weren't born from alcoholics. They have not pinpointed the gene that is responsible for that, but it is being studied upon.

    Now wether it's the gene that is to blame or just the environment? That's the question that should be looked at for now. I grew up around drugs and alcohol. Later in life I started drinking as well, but I hated hardcore drugs and tried Marijuana 3 times in my whole life.
  4. mikka254

    mikka254 Member

    Let us not blame genetics on everything.As much as someone might say that you look like someone, that does not mean that you are them. Even identical twins have different personalities. Change your mindset and remove that idea from your head before you make that an excuse to drink.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I have not read yet that alcoholism is hereditary. I do more agree that those who are born with alcoholics around them could be influenced by it especially if he or she will not be guided well. Or will grow up without proper guidance and care.
  6. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    Yes, the question is genetics or environment isn't it? Did you learn the habits from the experiences you had or the stories you were told or has there always been a genetic hole you the size of that bottle? Really tough to determine without the science but it would make sense. However, there are always the instances in a family where the mother/father was an alcoholic & one son became an alcoholic, one son never touched a drop, & the final son can socially drink without any negative consequences. If it is genetic it must hop around the family.
  7. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I think it's referred to as the "Nature/Nurture debate". Is alcoholism, and other addictions, a genetic predisposition or is it a learned behavior? It's difficult to determine which it is and is most likely to be a combination of both in most families.
  8. Coltodor

    Coltodor Member

    My General Psychology class go on about genetic disposition. From what I remember it like genetics and nurture both influence a individual. What up for a debate according to my instructor is how much is due to genetics and how much is due to nurture.
  9. Nick Anthony

    Nick Anthony Active Contributor

    I really don't know if it's genetic. I'd highly recommend going to the doctors and asking them if it is. What I think you have picked up however, is the rationale that drinking and smoking helps you with your problems. Unfortunately, they are working, which is why you haven't stopped, but they're also taking from you as well. I'm not trying to lecture you or anything, but that's just my opinion, no disrespect.
  10. klb

    klb Member

    I believe that science at least supports a genetic predisposition that lends itself toward the increased likelihood of alcoholism developing in an individual. It's a little more complicated than that, however, because there are other varying factors like stress being coupled with abuse of the substance, etc... Some people have a genetic impediment,however... not unlike a chemical imbalance. Some people simply do not produce appropriate amounts of some neurotransmitters that provide them with a "sense of wellbeing", in these cases, alcohol can initially seem to provide this needed balance... it just doesn't last.
    pineywood likes this.
  11. Bonzer

    Bonzer Community Champion

    Well, your question is interesting! It also gives the impression that "problem drinking" may be allowed refuge under genetic pre-disposition. Please don't mistake me. I, absolutely mean no offense. However, there has been ample proof that drinking is a choice. Moreover, genetics explains impulsive behavior of individuals, who could be more prone to lose control while drinking. However, problem drinking has not been found to associate with a propensity to drink.

    If you need more proof you may go through the following article from Elements Behavioral Health
  12. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    I personally don't think that it's a product of genetics as much as family influence.
    When I was young, my father would drink. He wouldn't get drunk and beat the whole family, no. It was just that he enjoyed drinking alcohol, as much as he could find. I think I got this habit from him unintentionally, because I essentially can't live without drinking at least two glasses of whiskey per day.
    I don't want to quit now, I like drinking... but I would've enjoyed not to, from the beginning.
  13. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    Genes shouldn't be the ones to blame. It's all about the environment you grow up in and the ability to have common sense when faced with a problematic situation such as this one. If you know better than to drink then you've already made up your mind and becoming an alcoholic isn't an issue. The ball is in your court so play wisely.
  14. XiaoDre

    XiaoDre Active Contributor

    Yes I believe it is genetic. My father was and still is an alcoholic. I love to drink as well but I never thought that I would let it get out of control like my father. At first when I started drinking as a teenager, I was doing it just for fun. As I got older, I started behaving like my father by fighting, arguing, and talking loud when I got drunk. That was because I had developed problems with depression. I think he had problems with depression as well but never admitted it. I still drink but I try not to let it conflict with my emotions.
  15. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I don't know if I can say it's genetic or the fact that one has grown up around it - and then drinking alcohol to excess seems normal. Again it goes back to psychology, is it genetics or is it environment? There are arguments for both, no doubt.
  16. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    It could be passed on, as if it is a common thing in the families and also I have had this happen in my family where some family members have in their young age drank a lot and got into fights and have anger and next day passed out. I have seen a lot of people who have seen it happen in family and also picked it up and thought it was a normal thing to do as well. I think, people should try and change their ways so they do not get the same way like the way some in their family did or thought it was the right way.
  17. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Probably. There are various reasons why people get addicted to alcohol, and one of them would be through genetics. But of course, people differ from one another, just because your mother/father is an alcoholic doesn't mean you're soon-to-be alcoholic too. It still depends on the child.
  18. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    I think it's more on the exposure to the addiction that makes a person become addicted. If a person grew up in a home with an alcoholic member of the family, there's also a big possibility that he/she will become alcoholic.

    I guess it all boils down to having a sense of control and discipline over yourself. It is our own choice if we follow what we grew up in, be it good or bad.
  19. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Completely agree. Whatever goes around in the house, kids tend to imitate. If a kid sees his dad hitting his mother, there's a big chance he'll do the same to his girlfriends, or wife. But I think there's also a genetic factor in the mix. There have been cases where the uncle is the drunk and the kids have never been exposed to his behaviour, and some of the nephews turned out to be drunks.
  20. gokoko

    gokoko Member

    There are definitely some genetic predispositions that can cause a person to take up a certain behavior, but the keyword here is 'tendency'. For example, a person may have a genetic predisposition that will cause him to tend to gain weight, but of course, he has full control over it. The choice is 100% yours. Your genes may make you more susceptible to drinking, but it is always your choice to give in to the negative behavior or not.