Family History of Alcoholism: How to Tell if You’re at Risk

It’s said that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The idiom applies to a lot of things, from your features to your personality. Your family has a major impact on the person you are in both good and bad ways.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, one in every 12 adults suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. If you’re one of the millions of people who have a relative who suffer from the disease, you could have a greater risk of developing future dependencies.

Learn how genetics and family situation can impact your chances of developing alcoholism.

The Genetic Factor

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that children of alcoholics are four times more likely to develop problems with alcohol than those of the general populace. In addition, children of alcoholics also have a greater risk for other emotional and behavioral problems.

Family Situation Plays a Role

Your genes aren’t the only factor in your future. Your family environment can also increase a person’s risk of developing alcoholism. Some familial situations that can play a part include:

An alcoholic parent with depression or other psychological problems

Parents who abuse alcohol and other drugs

Conflicts that lead to aggression and violence

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

There’s a difference between being someone who enjoys a few drinks and being an alcoholic. The latter is a debilitating disease that can make your life spiral out of control without proper care. Signs of alcoholism include:

A strong need, or urge, to drink

An inability to stop drinking after starting

A physical dependence to alcohol

A tolerance to alcohol that requires greater amounts to provide a buzz 

What You Can Do

Just because someone is related to a person with alcoholism doesn’t necessarily mean that they will become one themselves, but the risk is indeed higher. No matter your family history, always drink in moderation and make smart decisions. 

If you or someone you know have a family history of alcoholism, talk to a health care professional to assess your situation. Give us a call at 440-333-1107 or download our registration form to set up an appointment today. 

Dr. David Gumucio, D.O.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.

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