Does the environment that one grows up in contribute to alcoholism or is alcoholism determined by genetics? It wasn’t until 1991 that alcoholism was considered both a medical and psychiatric disease by the American Medical Association. Alcoholism is defined in the dictionary as a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally. (dictionary.com). It is also defined as an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness
Many adults can enjoy a drink or two from time to time without any issues, but just one drink can cause over seventeen million Americans’ lives to spiral out of control. Though most people do not have issues with drinking alcoholic beverages, many have a condition which causes their brain to function differently when they consume alcohol. This disease can be deadly for both the alcoholic and those around them. Alcoholism can control someone’s life, and even though it is a societal issue that is still being addressed, more people are seeking treatment to better themselves. Alcoholism, excessive consumption of alcohol that results in dependence, is caused by genetics and environmental factors that result in harmful effects on the body of the drinker and the safety of society; however, therapy and support groups are helping alcoholics recover today, and medications undergoing trial could allow them to live normal lives in the future.
Based on the results of Swedish adoption studies, some researchers divide alcoholism into two types. Type I, the most common, occurs in both men and women and is associated with adult-onset alcohol dependence. This form, also known as "milieu-limited" alcoholism, appears to be the result of "genetic predisposition and environmental provocation," according to NIAAA's 1991 publication Alcohol Research: Promise for the Decade--that is, the development of alcoholism in these cases is an interaction between inherited predisposition and the person's life situations.
Randomly, people will turn their drinking habits into a reason why to drink. Whether they drink to just have fun, to release some stress, or because they drink to help with various sorts of problems. Often, the alcoholic in the family starts drinking too much, causing the family to always be on edge and be cautious with his mood swings, because they never know how they’ll end up acting. Often in times a sign of abuse on alcohol is when ¨Legal problems, such as being arrested or harming someone else while drunk¨ said researchers in Talbott Recovery. Once the alcoholic figures what kind of power they have over the family, they’ll often tend to use it in a more manipulative way, to make sure they get what they want in the end of the day. And when they’re drunk, they could care less about the family and just desire to get another bottle, and to let their emotions/actions lash out. That is when a person ends up becoming an
To begin, research of genetics has shown some information on how genes support alcoholism being a disease. Genetics and the brain are connected as other organs, such as the heart and genetics are connected (Nurnberger). People can inherit heart diseases from their parents through their genes. There is no difference with alcohol. Alcohol damages the brain cells and can increase the chances of a child to become more dependent on alcohol. According to Nurnberger, “For alcohol dependence, about 50 percent is related to genetic factors and the other half to environmental factors, such as availability of alcohol and cultural factors” (Nurnberger). Although environmental factors play a high role in alcohol consumption, genetics, as shown, have played half the role. People become dependent on alcohol, and not only can it be hereditary to pass the gene to increase the chances of becoming an alcoholic, but alcoholism can even cause a change to other genes to possibly cause depression and anxiety problems (Nurnberger). Saying that alcoholism is not a disease when it can be passed through genes and alter other genes would be like saying autism is not a disease or disorder. The reason is because the brain is genetically altered, like alcoholism, and it can change other
At the beginning of the 21st century, it was estimated that the annual number of deaths related to excessive drinking exceeded 100,000 in the United States alone (“Alcoholism”). In fact, in 1995, 140 million Americans were using alcohol is an abusing way (Ammerman, Ott, and Tarter). “It is a chronic and progressive illness that involves the excessive inappropriate ingestion of ethyl alcohol” (“Alcoholism”). Equally, it can be characterized as an emotional and many times, physical dependence on alcohol. It is thought to come from a combination of a wide range of physiological, social, and genetic factors (“Alcoholism”). Even
Get hooked on drinking to stave off withdrawal symptoms. Also, younger family members tend to mimic the alcohol use patterns of their parents, siblings, and other family members. Peers also influence drinking behavior. Some studies shows that regardless of family history of alcoholism, a lack of parental monitoring, severe and recurrent family conflict and poor parent-child relationships can contribute to alcohol abuse in adolescents. Children with conduct skills as well as those with little connection to parents, other family members, or school may be at an increased risk for alcohol abuse.
1. Biological Factors: Factors related to genetics and physiology of the person. Some people can control the amount of alcohol intake, while others enjoy drinking that urge them to repeat the behavior, turning it a habit. Alcohol dependence may be connected to up to 51 genes in several chromosome regions. These genes may be inherited by later generations, making them prone to drinking problems.
I think we can agree that it's nearly impossible to predict who will develop alcohol and substance abuse problems; however, research has uncovered a great deal about the factors
Alcohol like many other drugs can be addictive; the question is how our genetic makeup and environment play a role in this does? Alcoholism is a difficult condition that encompasses both the genetic and environmental factors. Like other addictive drugs, youths who consume alcohol are more likely to become addicted and remain addicted throughout their adult lives. Alcoholism has a very high impact on our society. The Center for Disease Control informs us that there are over 100,000 alcohol related deaths every year due to drunk drivers and other alcohol related injuries and diseases. Each day 65 drivers die in drunk driving accidents according to the California Capitol Report. In 1988, 25,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents involving
Alcohol is absorbed from all parts of the gastrointestinal tract largely by simple diffusion into the blood. However the small intestine is by far the most efficient region of the gastrointestinal tract for alcohol absorption because of its very large surface area. In a fasting individual, it is generally agreed that 10% to 20% of a dose of alcohol is absorbed from the stomach (the volume of alcohol affects the absorption) and 75% to 80% is absorbed from the small
The social implications of alcoholism are somewhat endless. According to an alcohol rehabilitation website (www.promises.com/articles/social-effects-alcoholism/) they list the following the following implications:
Cocaine, meth, marijuana, nicotine etc. The list of dangerous and harmful drugs goes on and on. However, one of the deadliest drugs not mentioned above is alcohol. From the time when alcohol was legalized in America on March 22nd, 1933, to the present day, society has become accustomed to the idea of binge drinking (an excessive amount of alcohol in a short amount of time). Alcoholism is now becoming more and more of a social norm. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 56% of people ages 18 and up reported to have drank in the last month. Alcohol use is promoted in almost all aspects of our lives, whether on billboards in the city, at local gas stations, or especially on the television. Many television shows are based around the idea of drinking, having main characters take part in the socially accepted norm. One of the TV shows that effectively addresses the notion to people associated with alcoholics and the effects on others around them is The Office more specifically in the episode “Moroccan Christmas”.
Social and cultural factors play roles in to establishing drinking patterns and the development of alcoholism. In some cultures, there is conflict between abstaining and accepting the use of alcohol as a way to change moods or to be social, thus making it difficult for some people to develop stable attitudes about and moderate patterns of drinking. Society tends to aid in the development of alcoholism by making alcohol seem glamorous, showing that by drinking, you will become more popular, more glamorous and more worthy of respects from others.
One 2001 study found that the amygdala is smaller in subjects with family histories of alcoholism, suggesting that inherited differences in brain structure may affect risk. The amygdala is an area of the brain thought to play a role in the emotional aspects of craving, which can lead to addiction (Asbury & Ketcham 121).