If somebody is habituated to drinking and has a family history of alcoholism, he or she should know when to pull the plug. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “Many scientific studies, including research conducted among twins and children of alcoholics, have shown that genetic factors influence alcoholism.”
If alcoholism runs in the family, it raises the propensity of a person to become alcoholic. Hence, to avoid any unwarranted situation in the future, it is paramount to realize this fact and act accordingly. Numerous studies have revealed that children of alcoholics are four times more likely than others to develop alcohol problems in their lives. These children are also likely to have emotional and behavioral issues later. However, family history is not the sole criterion that makes a person prone to become an alcoholic.
“Alcoholism is not determined only by the genes you inherit from your parents. In fact, more than one–half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholic. Research shows that many factors influence your risk of developing alcoholism. Some factors raise the risk while others lower it,” according to the NIAAA.
Know when drinking becomes alcoholism
Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a disease and is different from normal drinking. Following are the signs of alcoholism in a person:
- Craving: When the urge to drink becomes very high and is usually difficult to resist, it is an indication of alcoholism.
- Unable to control: When one loses control and is unable to put the brakes once drinking has begun, he or she has most likely become an alcoholic.
- Growing physical dependency: When somebody becomes dependent on alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms after ceasing to drink, it is a sign of alcoholism. Withdrawal symptoms may include upset tummy, shakiness, sweating, and anxiety.
- Tolerance: It is the most significant symptom to decide on an alcoholic. When the tolerance level increases, i.e. more alcohol is needed to get high, one has surely become an alcoholic.
Although genes alone do not decide on somebody becoming an alcoholic, there are other catalysts that could trigger the onset. Parenting has a profound bearing on how children grow up to be. The behavior of parents with children and the latter’s response is a major factor for their all-round development. However, according to researchers, the following factors in the family can put children at a greater risk to become alcoholics:
- An alcoholic parent also has a psychological disorder like depression or any other mental condition.
- When both the parents abuse alcohol or drugs.
- When the addiction is severe.
- When there are constant conflicts that lead to aggression and violent behavior in the family.
Ray of hope
Even for children with alcoholic parents and other troubled families, not necessarily all of them will develop alcohol problems. Just because somebody has grown up watching the parents abuse alcohol or witnessing major troubles in the family does not mean that he or she too will follow suit. It may heighten the probability, but is not a certainty.
It is not a bad idea though to adopt some steps to avoid becoming an alcoholic in the future, especially if there is a history of alcoholism in the family:
No underage drinking: It is a strict no when somebody in the family is already a victim of alcoholism. It will only exacerbate matters when one grows up.
Moderate drinking as an adult: The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have set guidelines to propagate moderate drinking. It is one drink a day for women and two for men. Moderate drinking helps one refrain from heavy or binge drinking, which ultimately leads to alcoholism.
If somebody in the family is grappling with alcoholism, call the Rapid Detox Helpline for immediate assistance. Our experts are available 24/7 at the helpline number 866-403-5591 to answer your queries related to detoxification and de-addiction from any substance.