Alcohol and Genes
In the past, people who were alcoholics were thought to be weak or bad. Only during the last few decades have scientists begun to question whether alcoholism might have something to do with genetics. Genetics is the branch of biology that deals with heredity-the genes or characteristics you inherit from your family. Researchers know that some diseases are passed on from parents to children through genes. They wonder if alcoholism is passed on in the same way.For one thing, alcoholism tends to run in families. Children of alcoholics will not always become alcoholics. But they are more likely to be alcoholics than children from families in which there are no alcoholics. Researchers believe that there are two reasons for this: genetics and family environment.
If your family socializes with alcohol and have good times with alcohol that is what you are showing your children. So they think it is alright to drink and generally they will become alcoholics because that is all they know. Growing up in that environment gives them the impression that drinking all the time is normal and okay. Alcoholism is a serious illness. Alcoholism is chronic-it continues for a long time. And it is progressive-it becomes worse. Alcoholism interferes with a drinker’s personal and professional life. Without treatment the alcoholic is unable to stop drinking. And the only way for an alcoholic to recover is to stop drinking. Otherwise, he or she may die. Some people drink too much because they have family problems or work related problems. They use alcohol as an escape from their problems. The drinker may show signs of poor health or a change in personality or behavior. Once the problems are solved, however, they often stop drinking. Sometimes he or she drinks on social occasions, such as a wedding or a special dinner. Others may become dependent on it and cannot stop drinking.
They crave alcohol. Soon they need more drinks to get the same effect that they used to get from just a few drinks. This is alcoholism, and it is widespread in the United States:
- Alcoholism is a leading cause of early death in the United States after cancer and heart disease.
- About 15 million American adults experience problems at home and at work that are related to
- About 76 million American adults have been exposed to alcoholism in their families during their lives.
- “Of all the substances Americans are likely to abuse or become addicted to, alcohol is far and away the
leader- particularly among teenagers.”
There are Liquor Stores on every corner, so be careful out there, know your body and know your family history. It doesn’t take long to become an alcoholic and it is tough to get your life back.
Alcoholism Is Real