Problems With Alcohol? 29 Gene Variants May Explain Why
These genes are often passed onto us through our family, which is why we can have similar traits as distant relatives or behavioral characteristics similar to relatives we’ve never even met. Among the behavioral traits that parents can pass on to their children is a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Many adult children of alcoholic parents have wondered, “is alcoholism genetic?
But, just because addiction is a disease doesn’t mean it’s hereditary. To answer that question, we have alcoholism genetic statistics to look deeper into alcoholism itself. But, with the right counseling and medication, it is treatable.
Is There An Alcoholic Gene?
Geographically, it is least common in Africa (1.1% of the population) and has the highest rates in Eastern Europe (11%). Alcoholism directly resulted in 139,000 deaths in 2013, up from 112,000 deaths in 1990. A total of 3.3 million deaths (5.9% of all deaths) are believed to be due to alcohol. Alcoholism reduces a person’s life expectancy by approximately ten years.
Acamprosate may stabilise the brain chemistry that is altered due to alcohol dependence via antagonising the actions of glutamate, a neurotransmitter which is hyperactive in the post-withdrawal phase. By reducing excessive NMDA activity which occurs at the onset of alcohol withdrawal, acamprosate can reduce or prevent alcohol withdrawal related neurotoxicity. Acamprosate reduces the risk of relapse amongst alcohol-dependent persons. The term alcoholism Sober living houses is commonly used amongst laypeople, but the word is poorly defined. Despite the imprecision inherent in the term, there have been attempts to define how the word alcoholism should be interpreted when encountered. Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, affecting the reward and motivation centers, and it is also a genetic problem. Indeed, scientists have argued about the genetic and hereditary influences on addiction for decades.
A person’s environment can strongly influence the development of an alcohol use disorder. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. The gene is the main physical unit that passes inheritance from a parent to their child. “Heredity” refers to a mutation in a person’s genes that is passed from generation to generation. Common hereditary mental illnesses include autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.
- As a result, they may have trouble knowing when to stop drinking.
- Research shows that genes are responsible for about half of the risk for AUD.
- Your prefrontal cortex is less formed in youth, meaning you have less impulse control and ability to fully process potential consequences.
But if you’re worried, talk to your doctor or drop in on an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. For several years, researchers have suspected that heavy drinkers drink as a form of self-medication — to calm overactive circuits in the brain. At the third stage there are physical and social consequences, i.e., hangovers, family problems, work problems, etc. A person will continue to drink excessively, disregarding the problems. A person will drink to regain that feeling of euphoria experienced in phase 1; the drinking will increase as more intoxication is required to achieve the same effect.
Common Traits Of An Alcoholic
Genetic diseases are characterized by an abnormality in a genome. A person can have this gene whether or not their family members have passed this disorder onto them.
Analyses of RNA expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines suggested that SNPs within this region on chromosome 5 had cis-acting regulatory effects on the expression of HTR1A orIPO11. Those who have a family history of alcoholism have a higher risk of developing a drinking problem. Studies show that alcoholism is approximately 50% attributable to genetics. The World Health Organization, the European Union and other regional bodies, national governments and parliaments have formed alcohol policies in order to reduce the harm of alcoholism. Credible, evidence-based educational campaigns in the mass media about the consequences of alcohol misuse have been recommended. Guidelines for parents to prevent alcohol misuse amongst adolescents, and for helping young people with mental health problems have also been suggested. Alcohol dependence – alcohol abuse combined with tolerance, withdrawal, and an uncontrollable drive to drink.
Learn More About The Genes Associated With Alcohol Use Disorder
Treatment providers are available 24/7 to answer your questions about rehab, whether it’s for you or a loved one. Submit your number and receive a free call today from a treatment provider. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today. Treatment providers can connect you with programs that provide the tools to help you get and stay sober. How COVID-19 Has Impacted Alcohol AbuseAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the numbers of alcohol abuse have continued to rise, causing concern across America. Beyond that, Palmer and his team want to develop a better understand of how the genes they’ve identified might influence these traits, but using animal and cellular models. Hussong, A. M., Huang, W., Curran, P. J., Chassin, L., & Zucker, R. A.
Participating in ongoing treatment methods provides you with a greater chance for long-term sobriety than those who do not continue recovery with maintenance programs. Drinking in an effort to reduce stress can quickly turn problematic. Career paths that are more likely to face high levels of stress due to long hours and strenuous tasks include doctors, nurses, emergency rescue workers, construction workers and military. It’s important for professionals of any industry to find other ways to de-stress in order to prevent alcohol abuse. Starting college or a new job can also make you more susceptible to alcoholism. During these times, you’re looking to make new friends and develop relationships with peers. The desire to fit in and be well-liked may cause you to participate in activities that you normally wouldn’t partake in.
Environmental Factors That Affect Alcoholism
In the period of 3–6 weeks following cessation, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbance are common. Similar post-acute withdrawal symptoms have also been observed in animal models of alcohol dependence and withdrawal. The analysis compared genetic variants from nearly 15,000 individuals diagnosed with alcohol dependence to nearly 38,000 people without such a diagnosis. Specific genetic variants affect alcohol metabolism, helping determine whether drinking is a pleasant or unpleasant experience. Researchers also found that the genetic factors influencing whether people drank or abstained from alcohol use were different than those involved in alcohol dependence risk. The new study included genetic data from people of European and African ancestry.
Have a confidential, completely free conversation with a treatment provider about your financial options. Keeping track of how your child spends their time and recommending alcohol-free activities. Erica SlaughterErica Slaughter has a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and has served as a research assistant in developing articles for scientific publications.
These links may help determine if alcoholism is hereditary. It could result from children not inheriting the genes for alcoholism. But, it could also stem from the environment these children were exposed to.
Research is proving that alcoholism is a complex genetic disease, and there are many genes that affect its risks. For example, the ADH1B and ALDH2 genes have been shown to have strong effects on alcoholism risks. Other genes, including GABRA2, CHRM2, KCNJ6, and AUTS2, may also significantly affect risks.
It is likely that, as for most complex diseases, alcohol dependence and AUDs are due to variations in hundreds of genes, interacting with different social environments. An additional challenge in the search for genetic variants that affect the risk for AUDs is that there is extensive clinical heterogeneity among those meeting criteria. Because the diagnosis of an AUD requires the presence of a set of symptoms from a checklist, there are many different ways one could meet the criteria. There are 35 different ways one could pick 3 criteria from 7 (DSM-IV alcohol dependence) and 330 ways to pick 4 from 11 (DSM-5 severe AUD).
Benzodiazepines, while useful in the management of acute alcohol withdrawal, if used long-term can cause a worse outcome in alcoholism. Alcoholics on chronic benzodiazepines have a lower rate of achieving abstinence from alcohol than those not taking benzodiazepines. This class of drugs is commonly prescribed to alcoholics for insomnia or anxiety management. Initiating prescriptions of benzodiazepines or sedative-hypnotics in individuals in recovery has a high rate of relapse with one author reporting more than a quarter of people relapsed after being prescribed sedative-hypnotics. Those who are long-term users of benzodiazepines should not be withdrawn rapidly, as severe anxiety and panic may develop, which are known risk factors for alcohol use disorder relapse.