Alcoholism is a serious and dangerous condition for anyone to live with. Although professional alcohol abuse treatment near you can make living with this disorder more manageable, it can be helpful for one to learn more about their family history with alcohol in order to understand how this disorder may impact them. One of the questions concerned individuals ask most is if they will become an alcoholic if one of their parents is, especially their father. While one’s genetics and home life are not always an indicator of one’s fate, they can often provide some useful information on how one may respond to alcohol in general.   

What Does it Mean to Be an Alcoholic?

An alcoholic is a person who is living with a condition known as alcohol use disorder, which is typically shortened and referred to as “alcoholism”. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a condition that develops in an individual when they are no longer able to stop or exercise control over their consumption of alcohol. A person has serious AUD when they are unable to stop or control their drinking when facing serious consequences to their health, relationships, finances, occupation, education, and more.  

Does Having an Alcoholic Father Make You More Likely to Become One? 

The guidance, example, and discipline from parents or guardians often have the largest impact on who an individual becomes as they mature, but, does this affect one’s likelihood to become an alcoholic? 

Alcoholism and Genetics

Although the idea of alcoholism being hereditary is often talked about in support groups and even in popular media, there is little evidence that having an alcoholic parent ensures their child will develop the same disorder. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an individual’s genetics are responsible for around half the risk that a person will develop AUD. 

The Impact of One’s Environment

The other half of the risk that a person will develop AUD comes from an individual’s environment. Several factors of a person’s environment can contribute to this. For instance, college students in the United States are more likely than many adults to develop AUD due to the party-related atmosphere on and around their college campus. 

However, the influence of one’s environment can also be from the past. Growing up in a home with an alcoholic can also be a significant factor in whether or not one will develop AUD. This is because the excessive use of alcohol by an alcoholic parent may be normalized to their child or children growing up. Even if the child understands how the abuse of alcohol is harming the adult or themselves, the excessive use can still be normalized. Then, by coupling the genetics from an alcoholic parent with an environment that promotes alcohol use and abuse without an understanding of appropriate alcohol consumption, one essentially finds themselves in a circumstance where they are extremely likely to develop AUD.    

The Takeaway

Having an alcoholic father or mother is not a guarantee that one will become an alcoholic themselves. However, this does not mean one should be careless with alcohol. As noted, the genes of an alcoholic can have some influence over a person and their response to alcohol, but genes from an alcoholic are not the only factor. The environment a person currently lives in and grew up in can also play a major role in their perception of and engagement with alcohol.  

Alcohol Abuse Treatment Near You

If you or a loved one is currently living with alcohol use disorder, there is professional alcohol abuse treatment near you! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of experienced addiction specialists offer multiple alcohol abuse treatments and therapies. Contact us today to learn more on how we can help you become sober and maintain your sobriety!

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