Genetics of Alcohol Use Disorder National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

When it comes down to it, the environmental elements of growing up with an alcoholic parent are just as impactful, if not more, than genetic predisposition. Each individual risk factor added to a childhood household (including lack of parental sober house supervision, unchecked aggressive behavior, and availability of alcohol) can contribute to an increase in the likelihood of substance abuse. Those with a history of alcoholism in their family have the highest risk of becoming alcoholics.

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. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox.

Why Do Genetics Influence the Likelihood of Alcoholism?

Concerns about alcohol consumption should be addressed by a medical professional. Feeling out of control in regard to drinking and feeling as though one drinks too much are indicators that there is a problem. Medically supervised detox programs and evidence-based rehabilitation programs are available that specialize in treating AUD. In the future, there may be genetic therapies that help people control how much alcohol they consume; for now, behavioral therapies have proven very effective at managing these chronic health conditions. The NIDA study found that the genes involved in alcohol abuse were concentrated in 51 chromosomal areas in the body. The genes involved are players in a variety of basic body function, such as cell-to-cell communications, the control of protein synthesis, cell-to-cell interactions, and regulation development.

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Is alcoholism genetic or epigenetic?

Alcoholism is a complex psychiatric disorder that has a multifactorial etiology. Epigenetic mechanisms are uniquely capable of accounting for the multifactorial nature of the disease in that they are highly stable and are affected by environmental factors, including alcohol itself.

Alcohol use disorder has become a prevalent problem that affects even the youth. Scientists and those in the medical field know there’s too much riding on the answer to this one question. At Family First Intervention, we have worked hard to educate families on alcoholism and recovery from alcohol addiction. We have decades of experience in helping families take the difficult yet necessary first steps toward alcohol recovery. https://goodmenproject.com/everyday-life-2/top-5-tips-to-consider-when-choosing-a-sober-house-for-living/ Any use of alcohol is not recommended if an underlying mental health condition is present, and overuse of alcohol should be considered a huge warning flag for the development of progressive alcoholism. Growing up around alcohol alone will not cause an individual to develop an alcohol use disorder, and it can increase the chance of engaging in alcohol use that could sow the seeds of progressive alcoholism.

UNC Health News Team

Having a support that includes a sponsor has also proven to be very effective and will help the individual understand their addiction, avoid triggers for relapse, and maintain a sober, healthy lifestyle. Co-occurring disorders are disorders that occur alongside alcoholism (or other disorders as well). For alcoholism, many of these disorders include anxiety and depression, where alcohol is used as a coping mechanism.This can also include post-traumatic stress disorder or general trauma. Trauma can lead to someone starting to drink more heavily in general as well, and isn’t always classified as a co-occurring disorder, but as a sort of catalyst. For people to cope with trauma, they may turn to alcohol or drug use, for example.

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The analysis compared genetic variants from nearly 15,000 individuals diagnosed with alcohol dependence to nearly 38,000 people without such a diagnosis. If a person experiences any 2 to 3 symptoms, he or she will be diagnosed with mild alcohol use disorder. Any 4 to 5 symptoms are considered moderate and 6 or more are considered severe. Those with moderate or severe disorders may need to go through a medically supervised detoxification program. And they may need to attend a series of therapy sessions in a treatment center. There is a distinct link between substance abuse problems and mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder,  and depression.

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