Is Alcoholism Hereditary
Answering The Question: Is Alcoholism Hereditary?
Asking the question "is alcoholism hereditary?" can be a little like asking whether God exists. You'll generally get one of two answers, with plenty of uncertainties in between. There is little doubt but that alcoholism run in families, as there is a wealth of statistics that support that contention. The statistics neither prove nor disprove however whether genetics are directly involved. Is alcoholism hereditary.
One reason that some believe the answer to "is alcoholism hereditary?" is the fact that alcoholism is treated in the medical community as a disease, and a number of diseases appear to be hereditary, or at least seem to run in families. If a disease were indeed hereditary however, it would seem that many more members of a family might suffer from the same disease or disorder than is generally the case. If we have a certain disease hard-wired into our system, there would not seem to be too much we could do about preventing it.
The answer really lies in the word "tendency". Statistics don't prove that alcoholism is hereditary, but rather support the general belief that if one of more of one's parents are alcoholic, the offspring will have a greater tendency to become alcoholic than would be the case if neither parent drank. What the statistics do show, is that children of alcoholic parents are 4 times more likely to take up drinking and become alcoholics themselves, than are children of non-alcoholic parents. Statistics can often be made to tell whatever story you want them to, but the factor of 4 is quite compelling as far as the possibility that there may be a genetic link is concerned.
Why is alcoholism hereditary
Statistics Are Just That - Still there is the counter argument that, whatever your statistical chances of becoming an alcoholic may be, you either will become one or you won't. Statistics apply to groups or to averages, and usually cannot be said to apply to individuals. If your statistical chances of reaching age 90 is one in ten, you'll either reach 90 or you won't.
There has been a great detail of research in trying to find the answer to "is alcoholism hereditary?", and some researchers claim that there may be genetic links to indicate that the answer is yes. Still, the issue is clouded by the fact that one's environment, culture, and even spiritual values have much to do with whether one becomes an alcoholic or not, and if heredity is a factor, it does not appear to be the determining one, unless further research eventually indicates otherwise.
Why Some Take Up Drinking - Children brought up in alcoholic family may view drinking as a part of life, whether they like what they see or not. Some parents even encourage their children to drink, which seems to have little to do with heredity. Even if parents discourage the practice, or if only one parent is affected, there can still be so much anxiety and tension, and a family can become so dysfunctional due to the actions of one or more of them, that anyone in the family can be driven to drink as a means of coping with a very difficult situation. To some, the best defense when living with an alcoholic is to become one.
If genetics is ever proven to be a deciding factor, it may open doors to finding ways to cure the disease or prevent it from happening. That could really only happen if genetics were found to be the sole cause for alcoholism. The fact remains that alcohol is an external agent, and is not initially wired into our psyche. If alcoholism is hereditary, it remains an environmentally, culturally, and spiritually induced disease as well.
Alcoholism is it hereditary