Josh Chandler | April 27, 2021

Is Alcoholism Hereditary?

Genetics and Alcoholism

When it comes to alcoholism, genes may not be the ultimate factor, but many people wonder, is alcoholism hereditary? Your genetic heritage can play a role in how your body responds to alcohol and how easy (or not) it is to put down the bottle once you start drinking. The subject is still under scrutiny, but early results have shown a genetic predisposition among many alcoholics. Understanding these root causes has been used to guide treatment and develop more effective rehab protocols.

In your own life, you may have noticed that alcoholism often runs in families, maybe even your own. If you are worried about your drinking or that of someone you care about, it is vital to reach out for assistance, and Muse Treatment center is ready with the expert help you need.

Click here to call Muse Addiction Center today. Our staff is available 24/7 to provide answers and begin the admissions process. Call (800) 426-1818.

Factors That Contribute to Alcoholism

Several factors can make someone predisposed to alcoholism and other forms of alcohol abuse, and understanding is alcoholism hereditary and how it fits together with addiction could be a crucial part of your long-term health care planning.

Just as every alcoholic has his or her own triggers, the factors that contribute to this disease run the gamut, from environmental issues to genetic predispositions. No matter your age, gender, income level, or genetic makeup, it is essential to understand the role these factors play and how you can avoid alcoholism despite your genes.


While it is not the only factor, genetic makeup is thought to play a role in the risk of alcoholism. As yet, scientists have not discovered an alcoholism gene, but they have identified certain structures in the brains of alcoholics that seem to make abuse more likely.

If you are the child or grandchild of an alcoholic, or if someone in your immediate family has struggled with substance abuse, it makes sense to pay closer attention to your own use of alcohol. Being alert for the early warning signs and taking proactive steps to avoid abuse could help you beat the odds, keeping you alcohol-free despite the code written into your genes.


There are many reasons why alcoholism and other forms of substance use disorder seem to run in families, and not all of them involve the DNA or the drug addict or alcoholic. While genes are thought to play a vital role in some forms of alcoholism and substance use disorder, genetics are not the only factors at play here.

The fact that so many children and grandchildren of alcoholics go on to abuse alcohol when they grow up could also be due to environmental factors, such as growing up in the same house as an alcoholic and being surrounded by alcohol as children. These environmental factors can play a huge role in whether a given individual grows up to be a social drinker, an alcoholic, or someone who abstains from alcohol use altogether.

If you are a child or grandchild or an alcoholic, it is worth taking extra care with your own alcohol use and possibly even avoiding its use altogether. It is impossible to predict precisely who will and will not become an alcoholic, and erring on the side of caution could be a brilliant thing to do.

Risk Factors for Developing Alcoholism

Alcohol use disorder is a disease, and like other forms of illness, it can have many different root causes. From the aftermath of PTSD and abuse to the presence of undiagnosed mental health conditions, many predisposing factors can make alcoholism more likely, including:

  • A genetic predisposition
  • Environmental factors, including growing up in the home of an alcoholic and being surrounded by alcohol and other drugs
  • Financial strain, including job loss
  • Struggles with home and family, including separation and divorce
  • A history of childhood abuse or ongoing problems with domestic abuse or spousal violence
  • Undiagnosed mental health challenges, including problems with anxiety, depression, and panic disorder
  • Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia
  • Drinking history, including experimentation with alcohol at a young age

Each of these risk factors can make alcoholism and alcohol use disorder more likely, but none of these issues will doom you to a life of substance abuse. Whether you recognize any of these predisposing factors or not, there is professional help available with Muse Treatment.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Muse in Los Angeles

From strokes and heart disease to diabetes and cancer, some of the biggest health problems known to humanity have a strong genetic component. Now you can add alcohol use disorder to the list of diseases where genetic factors play a role for couples struggling with addiction, couple rehab, and outpatient alcohol rehab can be an effective solution.

Whether the root causes of your alcoholism are often genetic, environmental, health-related, or a combination, the staff at Muse in Los Angeles can help you through it, identifying the underlying issues behind your substance use and giving you the tools you will need to stay sober long after you have left our facility. So reach out today, pick up the phone and talk to one of our caring counselors at (800) 426-1818 – you will be glad you did.

Alcohol Addiction,Alcohol Rehab,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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