Alcoholism is one of the most common addiction disorders in the world – by some estimations, the single most common, in fact. As with anything else, there are numerous potential causes which conspire to cause alcoholism, and that means that there is generally both an environmental set of causes as well as a genetic set of causes. In this article, we are interested primarily in the genetic component to alcoholism.
If you have questions about this, then read on. We’ll look into what the genetic component to alcoholism is, how relevant it is, and whether or not it can be overcome.
Is There A Genetic Component To Alcoholism?
The short answer is yes. Like with pretty much everything else, genes do play some role, though the extent of that role is not necessarily always clear. But there is no doubt that genes play a part in determining how likely someone is to drink alcohol, and in how likely they are to become an alcoholic, or for their drinking to be problematic in some way or another.
Alcohol use disorder and alcoholism do tend to run in families, and having parents who are alcoholics does increase your chances of being one yourself. However, it’s important not to overstate the importance of this – and it’s especially important that we remember it is always possible to make your own choices and overcome anything.
In other words, even if you have the strongest possible genetic components that go into making alcoholism likely, it’s perfectly possible to overcome the addiction, or to avoid getting addicted in the first place. Genes are not the whole story, and in themselves are not sufficient for you to have a problem with alcohol. Many other factors are also at play here.
Can Genes Affect Treatment?
But what about when you are receiving treatment for alcohol addiction? Is it possible that genes can affect your treatment too, and if so to what extent might this be the case? Again the picture here is more complex than you might think. This is because of two facts: there are indeed genetic situations which might mean you respond less well to treatment. But there are also all sorts of genes which make it more likely to respond well to treatment. As such, you just never quite know which you will be.
What this means is that it’s not really worth worrying about how your genes might affect your treatment chances. No matter the genetic makeup, you can recover from alcohol addiction, no matter who you are. As long as you have the right help and assistance, you’ll find that you are much more likely to overcome your addiction – regardless of what your genes happen to be. This is the most important thing to bear in mind.