Rather, one possibility is that there are variations in genes that get expressed in different ways in a carrier’s body. For example, gene variations can predispose individuals to depression, which in turn can predispose them to alcohol abuse. The children of people with an alcohol use disorder face a twofold greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.

  • Mental illness increases the likelihood of developing alcoholism by 20% to 50%.
  • There are many benefits to getting sober at a medical detox center rather than at home, and it’s also a much safe option.
  • The first step in ethanol metabolism is oxidation to acetaldehyde, catalyzed primarily by ADHs; there are 7 closely related ADHs clustered on chromosome 4 .
  • Of the 41 women, the rates of alcoholism among their parents, siblings, and children were similar.

Genetic makeup only accounts for half of the alcoholic equation. There are also countless environmental factors that may lead to alcoholism. Alcohol is metabolized primarily in the liver, although there is some metabolism in the upper GI tract and stomach. The first step in ethanol metabolism is oxidation to acetaldehyde, catalyzed primarily by ADHs; there are 7 closely related ADHs clustered on chromosome 4 . The second step is metabolism of the acetaldehyde to acetate by ALDHs; again, there are many aldehyde dehydrogenases, among which ALDH2 has the largest impact on alcohol consumption20. After struggling with his alcohol addiction, Craig went on a journey of self-discovery and learning, studying the underlying causes of alcohol addiction and how to overcome it.

Alcoholism and Environmental Influences

She said those larger samples of is alcoholism a hereditary disease with and without a diagnosis of alcohol dependence will be key to future discoveries about genetic contributions to alcoholism. Despite your family history or upbringing, you always have a choice. Your fate as an alcoholic has not been predetermined and you have every opportunity to change your behaviors, your mindset, and your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, your drinking habits may be problematic, and you may have alcohol use disorder. Instead of being discouraged or scared, just remember that many great things happen when you stop drinking alcohol, and you don’t have to give up fun or freedom to do it. High levels of stress – Certain life events, physical illnesses, or professional occupations like doctors, lawyers, or construction workers, may be the cause of additional stress in a person’s life.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that alcoholism has a genetic component. Both ALDH2 and ADH1B are genes that are involved in how alcohol is metabolized in the body. The journal Alcohol Research and Health publishes that the presence of these genes can actually act as a protector against alcoholism.

Genome-wide Association Studies

Reciprocal https://ecosoberhouse.com/ is common early in relationships, and it is often hard to discern if someone is not aware of the signs. However, as the relationship progresses and you get to know each other better, if you notice that the drinking behaviors are problematic and don’t say anything, your inaction is enabling the problem to continue. Seitz HK, Meier P. The role of acetaldehyde in upper digestive tract cancer in alcoholics.


The most common initial approach was linkage analysis, in which markers throughout the genome were measured to identify chromosomal regions that appeared to segregate with disease across many families. The drawback to this approach is that linkage studies find broad regions of the genome, often containing many hundreds of genes. In many cases, the initial linkage studies were followed by more detailed genetic analyses employing single nucleotide polymorphisms that were genotyped at high density across the linked regions.