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Can You Be Born Alcoholic?

Kim Stary

Kim became an RN in 2007 and spent much of her career working as a nurse in the Emergency Department. She has also worked in the PACU, PreOp, OR, and over the last four years of her career, has worked as a Nursing Supervisor for two different mental health and substance abuse facilities in the area. Prior to becoming a nurse, Kim worked as a health teacher and basketball coach in a high school, in radio sales, and in the business office of a radio station in Madison, WI.

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While It’s Unlikely That You Would Be “Born An Alcoholic”, Alcoholism Does Have Hereditary Roots

Alcoholism is a serious problem in modern society. It affects individuals and families, making life difficult for those who suffer from it and those around them. 

But what causes alcoholism? Is it possible to be born an alcoholic? Is alcoholism hereditary? In this blog post, we will explore the causes of alcohol addiction and some of the evidence that suggests that genetics can play a role. 

We’ll also look at how society has responded to issues related to alcoholism and the treatment options available. Whether you or someone close to you has been affected by this issue, read on to learn more about the realities of being born alcoholic.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a term used to describe someone who has a dependence on alcohol. This means that they have a strong urge to drink, and often cannot control how much they drink once they start. Alcoholism can cause problems with work, school, and personal relationships. It can also lead to health problems like liver damage, heart disease, and cancer.

The Symptoms of Alcoholism

There are several symptoms that are commonly associated with alcoholism. These symptoms can vary in intensity and may be different for each individual. However, some of the more common symptoms include:

  • A strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol, meaning that you need to drink more to feel the same effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back or stop drinking, such as nausea, sweating, shaking, or anxiety
  • Unable to control how much you drink once you start
  • Continued drinking despite negative consequences, such as job loss or financial problems
  • Neglecting other activities and hobbies in favor of drinking
  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Feeling ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed about your drinking

The Effects Of Alcoholism

There are many different effects that alcoholism can have on a person. These can range from physical effects, such as liver damage, to mental effects, such as depression. Alcoholism can also lead to social problems, such as job loss and relationship issues.

The physical effects of alcoholism are often the most visible. These can include liver damage, weight gain or loss, and gastrointestinal problems. Alcoholism can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. The physical effects of alcoholism are often serious and can be life-threatening.

The mental effects of alcoholism can be just as serious as the physical ones. Depression, anxiety, and paranoia are all common in people with alcoholism. Alcoholism can also lead to memory problems and difficulty concentrating. The mental effects of alcoholism can be debilitating and make it difficult for a person to function in day-to-day life.

The social effects of alcoholism are wide-ranging. Job loss, financial problems, and relationship issues are all common in people with alcoholism. Alcoholism can also lead to legal problems, such as DUI charges. The social effects of alcoholism can be devastating and may even lead to homelessness.

The Causes Of Alcoholism

There are many possible causes of alcoholism. It could be caused by your environment, trauma, other conditions like depression and anxiety, peer pressure, and yes, genetics.

It’s estimated that almost 50 percent of alcoholism is due to genetics. We know that alcoholism runs in families, which suggests a genetic predisposition to the condition.  

So Can You Be Born Alcoholic?

There’s no simple answer to this question. It depends on a variety of factors, including your genes, your environment, and your overall health.

Alcoholism is a complex disease that has no single cause. While there are some genetic and environmental factors that may increase your risk of developing alcoholism, there is no single “cause” of the disease.

In layman’s terms, it’s unlikely that you could be “born an alcoholic,” but there are several factors that could make you have a predisposition to alcoholism, and make it more likely you will develop alcoholism in the future. 

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that can lead to physical and psychological problems. If you have family members who are alcoholics, you may want to be very careful about how much and how often you drink, and you might not want to drink at all. 

By the same token, growing up with alcoholic parents or caregivers can contribute to alcoholism as well— people with childhood trauma are also at risk of developing alcoholism. 

Get Help For Alcoholism Or An Alcoholic Family Member

In summary, it is not really possible to be born an alcoholic, but your heredity also has a say. Some people are more predisposed to it, but that doesn’t mean they will all become alcoholics. Nobody is born with a life sentence to addiction. Because while heredity has a say, it doesn’t have the last word.

If you or a family member of yours has struggled with addiction problems in the past, or if you find yourself having a hard time controlling your drinking habits, then it might be worth considering getting some help and support from professional services like ours. We treat all kinds of people with the disease of addiction— and it is a disease— and can likely help you, too. 

Ultimately, understanding what makes us vulnerable to alcoholism will help us better recognize and protect ourselves against this potentially dangerous condition. Know that if you have a parent or caregiver who is an alcoholic, you’re more likely to get it yourself— but it doesn’t have to be that way. 
Give us a call at 727-591-4119 and we can discuss treatment options.

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