Alcoholism has been an issue in our family. I am worried about how this will affect my teenaged children, who will surely be exposed to drinking soon, if not already. Is alcoholism passed through genetics and how can I effectively reach my children without coming across as “preachy”?
Alcoholism tends to run in families, and genetic factors partially explain this pattern. Researchers are currently looking for the genes that influence vulnerability to alcoholism. A person&r... read more
Source: Dr. Phil O’Dwyer,
Alcoholism tends to run in families, and genetic factors partially explain this pattern. Researchers are currently looking for the genes that influence vulnerability to alcoholism. A person’s environment, such as the influence of friends, stress levels, and the ease of obtaining alcohol, may also influence the development of alcoholism. While a factor such as social support, may help to protect even high-risk people from problems with alcohol.
Risk, however, is not destiny. A child of an alcoholic parent will not automatically develop alcoholism. A person with no family history of alcoholism can become alcohol dependent. It’s important to note that, youths who use alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who begin drinking at age 21. Alcohol use in teens often leads to an increase in risky sexual behavior, poor school performance and injury.
There are a number of great resources available to help you properly educate your children. The most important thing is to stay involved, be diligent and have an open path of communication. Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease that is treatable with professional help and support.