Your genetics structure or DNA determines a lot of things about you – your health, physical disposition, psychology, and behavior. As such, your behavioral traits influence your thinking and behavior. Part of your behavior may include your predisposition to abuse drugs or alcohol. So is alcoholism hereditary?
While genes alone do not determine if you will become an alcoholic or drug addict, they can determine your level of risk after you use a substance for the first time. The important thing is not whether alcoholism is hereditary. Instead, it is what you do to prevent it or treat it.
What About Your Environment?
Is alcoholism hereditary? Even if your addiction wasn’t passed down to you biologically, it may have been passed down to you socially.
Genetic makeup accounts for only a portion of your risk of being an alcoholic. One main factor that you need to consider is how you grew up. If your family, friends, or immediate community all drank or took drugs, you may more at risk of becoming an alcoholic.
Keep in mind that your environment doesn’t just include your home life. If all of your friends engage in heavy drinking regularly, that increases your chances of picking up alcohol and drinking all of the time. The weekend benders with friends can turn into a habit that eventually turns into an addiction.
What About Mental Illness?
Is alcoholism hereditary? If you suffer from a mental illness that leads to alcoholism, then alcoholism may be considered hereditary.
When we think about genetics and alcoholism, we often think about chemical makeup in the brain that is predisposed to drinking. However, genetics does not always present a direct link to alcoholism. You may become a heavy drinker due to a mental illness that develops over time.
Some of the most common mental illnesses associated with alcoholism include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Trauma or PTSD
Mental illness contributes to a high rate of alcoholism and drug abuse, as many people who have a disorder turn to a substance to self-medicate. So, there may be an indirect link between hereditary traits that produce a mental disorder and alcoholism.
Are You at Risk of Becoming an Alcoholic?
Regardless of genetics, you can reduce the risk of becoming an alcoholic simply by living a healthy life. Managing stress, eating healthy, exercise, maintain positive relationships, and understanding the symptoms of addiction, can all promote a healthy lifestyle free of substance abuse.
If you notice that you are drinking too much, then take steps to eliminate alcohol from your life. You may want to seek counseling or visit an alcohol addiction treatment center in Texas. Be proactive in eliminating an addiction before it takes over your life.
Is Alcoholism Hereditary? Learn More at Right Step Hill Country
Is alcoholism hereditary? Find out more at Right Step Hill Country. We offer comprehensive treatment for all types of addictions. To find out more about your treatment options, call us at 1.844.675.1628. We are here to help you get on the road to recovery.