It’s estimated that nearly 15 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism or, as it is now termed, alcohol use disorder affects so many people outside of the individual, many wonder if they are at risk of developing it. Because alcohol use disorder has a genetic component, it’s not inappropriate to ask, ‘Is alcoholism hereditary?’ But, like many diseases, alcohol abuse doesn’t have a single cause. Learning more about the disease of addiction, specifically alcohol use disorder, can set your mind at ease. Also, it can give you the necessary information to help yourself or a loved one should they begin to show signs of alcohol abuse.
Is Alcoholism Hereditary?
One of the major risk factors for developing alcohol use disorder is genetics. If you have a family history of addiction, whether it be drugs or alcohol, you may be at high risk to suffer from alcohol use disorder. However, genetics is only one factor. Having genes that put you at high risk does not seal your fate. Rather, it means you have to be extra vigilant. Thus, the short answer to ‘Is alcoholism hereditary?’ is ‘Yes.’ What other factors determine if someone is at high risk?
Warning Signs of Alcoholism
When it comes to getting treatment for any disease, the sooner, the better. The same is true for alcohol addiction. Once you can recognize the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder, you are in a better position to get the help you need or help someone else do so. Some warning signs include:
- Regular drinking
- Consistently drinking more than intended
- Drinking takes priority over work, school, or family
- Drink at inappropriate times and situations
- Hide alcohol, drink secretively, or lie about drinking
- Requiring more frequent drinks or stronger drinks to get the desired effect
Also, withdrawal symptoms are a warning sign of alcoholism. If you experience withdrawal symptoms after going only a few hours or a few days without drinking, you’ve likely developed a dependency. Depending on the individual, withdrawal symptoms can be mild to severe. However, their very presence denotes a problem. Some common withdrawal symptoms are:
- Tremors (shakes) especially in the hands
- Excessive sweating and chills
- Sudden high blood pressure (hypertension) or increased heart rate (arrhythmia or tachycardia)
- Sleep issues such as insomnia
You may wonder, ‘Is alcoholism hereditary?’ but if you or a loved one shows these warning signs or experiences these withdrawal symptoms, then they are suffering from alcoholism.
Promises Five Palms
Alcohol use disorder is a complex disease. However, it is highly treatable. If you’re concerned about your own well being or that of a loved one asking yourself, ‘Is alcoholism hereditary?’, the best course of action is to seek treatment. Promises Five Palms is here to help. We believe in prevention. We believe in supporting people as they return to health.
Aside from offering gender-specific addiction treatment and rehab for men and women, we offer a variety of mental health services to help you heal fully. Contact us today at 1.844.675.1022 to explore our options and educate yourself. Alcohol use disorder doesn’t have to cause you any more anxiety or worry. We can help you heal.