Are You Born with Alcoholism? | Genetics of Alcoholism

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

Think you have a drinking problem?

If you suspect you might have a drinking problem, don't wait to seek help. Call our hotline now for confidential advice, support, and the first step towards understanding your relationship with alcohol and beginning your journey to recovery.

Are You Born With Alcoholism?

Scientists have found that people with a certain genetic makeup may be predisposed to alcoholism.

Researchers have identified a specific genetic variant that is associated with an increased risk for developing alcoholism. This variant is present in about 30 percent of the population, and those who have it are about 50 percent more likely to develop alcoholism than those who don’t.

This finding confirms what many addiction experts have long suspected: that alcoholism is not simply a matter of willpower or poor moral character, but is a complex disease with roots in both biology and environment.

If you have this genetic variant, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely become an alcoholic. But it does mean that you’re more susceptible to the disease, and that you may need to take extra precautionary measures to protect yourself from its potentially harmful effects.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcoholism is a disease that includes four symptoms:

Craving alcohol

Loss of control over alcohol consumption

Physical dependence on alcohol

Tolerance to alcohol

Although there is no single cause of alcoholism, there are risk factors that may make someone more likely to develop the disease. These include genetics, family history, mental health, and social environment.

Some people may be born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. This means that they have genes that make them more likely to develop the disease. Family history is also a risk factor. If your parents or grandparents struggled with alcoholism, you may be more likely to as well.

Mental health can also play a role in alcoholism. People who struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders may be more likely to turn to alcohol as a way to cope. And finally, social environment can be a factor. If you spend time around people who drink often or who don’t discourage heavy drinking, you may be more likely to develop alcoholism yourself.

Are You Born With Alcoholism?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), alcoholism is a disease that includes four symptoms:

Craving alcohol
Loss of control over alcohol consumption
Physical dependence on alcohol
Tolerance to alcohol

Although there is no single cause of alcoholism, there are risk factors that may make someone more likely to develop the disease. These include genetics, family history, mental health, and social environment.

Some people may be born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. This means that they have genes that make them more likely to develop the disease. Family history is also a risk factor. If your parents or grandparents struggled with alcoholism, you may be more likely to as well.

Mental health can also play a role in alcoholism. People who struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders may be more likely to turn to alcohol as a way to cope. And finally, social environment can be a factor. If you spend time around people who drink often or who don’t discourage heavy drinking, you may be more likely to develop alcoholism yourself.

Concerned About Your Drinking?

We Can Help!

Understanding your relationship with alcohol is the first step towards making informed decisions about your health and well-being. Whether you’re questioning your drinking habits or seeking support, we’re here to help.