Alcoholism is a disease that doesn’t discriminate, meaning that anyone is prone to developing the condition during their lifetime. Alcoholism can also progress rapidly, especially if you are at a higher risk for developing addiction. Certain biological and environmental factors can increase your chances of suffering from alcoholism. But is alcoholism hereditary?
Just because alcohol is legal to consume doesn’t mean that it’s safe. 14.4 million Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder annually, with only 7.9% receiving treatment. Alcohol is highly addictive and prone to abuse. While not everyone who drinks develops alcoholism or a drinking problem, alcoholism can lead to physical dependency.
Is Alcoholism Hereditary?
So, is alcoholism hereditary? The simple answer is that while having close relatives who have struggled with alcoholism or substance abuse issues can increase your chances of having a drinking problem, alcoholism isn’t linked directly to genetics. That means that alcoholism isn’t an inheritable condition.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, meaning that they don’t have to drink much in order to experience intense euphoria during intoxication. In other cases, biological factors such as your weight or health can impact how your body responds to alcohol. When you experience more pleasure than the average person when you drink, you can become more susceptible to abusing alcohol.
If you’re still wondering is alcoholism hereditary, remember you’re more likely to develop alcoholism if your parents or relatives also suffered from the condition. However, there’s no gene or trait that causes you to abuse alcohol.
Growing up with a loved one or parent who struggled with alcoholism can cause instability, emotional problems, and trauma. These factors increase your risk of developing a drinking problem. Since alcoholism isn’t an inherited condition, there isn’t a known cure other than learning how to cope with your symptoms and avoiding alcohol and other substances.
Alcohol can cause physical dependency, which can result in serious detox symptoms if you immediately stop drinking. While rare, delirium tremors are a potentially fatal withdrawal symptom that requires emergency medical treatment, which is why completing a detox program is essential during recovery.
Other symptoms of alcohol detox can include:
- Shakes and tremors
- Insomnia and exhaustion
- Aches and pains
- Digestive issues
- Mood changes
Most detox symptoms alleviate within one week of your last drink, although it takes time for your brain and body to fully heal. Your brain has to repair damage caused during alcoholism while your body has to adjust to no longer relying on alcohol to feel normal.
During treatment, you have the time necessary to focus on your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Inpatient and outpatient programs offer evidence-based and holistic treatment to ensure you learn how to handle triggers and cravings during recovery.
Finding Treatment Today
Alcoholism can damage your relationships, health, and career. While recovery is always possible, the best way you can support your goal of achieving sobriety is to reach out for treatment. To answer is alcoholism hereditary, and find out more about how alcoholism is treated, reach out to us today at 1.713.528.3709.