Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

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Most adults drink, and when they do, they do it responsibly. Social drinkers, for example, might have a cocktail at a dinner party. But not everyone drinks responsibly. Problem drinkers, for example, can’t stop once they start, so that they might cause problems at a dinner party after several drinks. 

Alcoholism is the pinnable form of alcohol abuse, the most severe version of drinking. It is sometimes called alcohol use disorder, but in any case, it means a person is unable to manage their drinking, stop their drinking, and they are addicted to alcohol. 

Alcoholism is further divided into three categories:

  1. Mild alcoholism
  2. Moderate alcoholism
  3. Severe alcoholism

If any of these are left untreated, the alcohol addiction can ruin lives. In many cases, alcoholism is hereditary, so a predisposition to drinking can cause someone to start as a social drinker and quickly become a severe alcoholic. Thankfully you are not alone, and you can get help right now to help you overcome your addiction, genetic or otherwise, and live a sober life. 

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. It applies to situations where you are unable to control how much you drink, or when you drink. You might crave alcohol whenever you are not drinking, or decide that you cannot function without drinking. 

Alcohol addiction causes you to put alcohol above all personal responsibilities, including work and family. You behave differently when drinking, and spend most of your time and money on alcohol. 

So, is alcoholism hereditary? 

What are the Signs of Alcoholism?

The signs of alcoholism can take many forms but at their core is any situation where you are unable to complete your daily responsibilities or function without drinking. You might have physical withdrawal symptoms like shaking, spasm, insomnia, and irritability when you aren’t drinking. You might experience significant mood changes, including severe aggression and a heightened desire to do nothing other than drink. 

Physical withdrawal symptoms and signs of alcoholism can cause you to spend all of your time and money drinking, avoiding personal responsibilities like going to work or school, or even caring for your children.

Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

If you have seen alcoholism throughout many generations within your family, you might need to know, is alcoholism hereditary? In short, yes, it can be. 

The genes you inherit in your DNA dictate things like your hair color and your behavioral characteristics, but they can also dictate your predisposition to alcohol addiction. People with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism already have a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder once they start drinking.

This hereditary alcoholism doesn’t dictate your level of tolerance or why you start drinking; it just means that if you start drinking, you are more likely to become dependent on alcohol compared to someone without a genetic predisposition.

For example: Tom has genetic alcoholism. Mark does not. Tom and Mark both start drinking for the first time at a party. Mark goes back to his everyday life and only drinks on occasion when it is with dinner (a glass of wine) or when he is at a party (a cocktail). Tom, however, craves alcohol after that first party and starts looking for reasons to go out drinking. He invites Mark to drinks after work, goes out with other friends, and eventually drinks nightly on his own. 

Finding Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When you set about dealing with inherited alcoholism, you need an alcohol addiction treatment center that customizes your plan. With alcoholism, genetic changes make each case different, but with Ocean Coast, we can make each treatment plan different as well. 

Located in Huntington Beach, we offer detox for alcohol addiction and residential inpatient programs so you can overcome your addiction privately, near home, in a supportive environment. Addiction is a complex disease, one often misunderstood. With alcoholism, genetic factors are taken into account when viewing the things that have impacted your addiction. 

We also appreciate that co-occurring disorders can make it hard to get (and stay) sober. If you have tried to get clean before, but didn’t know about the genetic part of alcoholism genetic causes of your addiction might very well lead you back down the same path. With our facility, we empower you to understand the answer to “is alcoholism hereditary” and engage you in your customized treatment plan to have the best possible results. 
With Ocean Coast, we can get you the help you need to overcome inherited alcoholism. Let us guide you toward sobriety.

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