Is Alcoholism Hereditary Mental Factors

What is alcoholism? It can be defined as a chronic, progressive, incurable disease, characterized by loss of control over alcohol and other sedative drugs. Also, alcohol is carving which is a need for more alcohol. Alcoholism has a generic basis but is not caused entirely by hereditary factors. Researchers theorized that the interaction of several genes, as well as environmental factors may influence whether a person will become an alcoholic later in life.

It has been found that “a child with an alcoholic father or brother has a 25% chance of becoming an alcoholic, which is 5-8 times that of the general population, but grandparents should also be consider, said Royce.” A study of twins done by a scientist Donald Goodwin, showed that “a larger percentage of identical twins were both alcoholic than fraternal twins.” There also appeared to exist to a hereditary character towards the social problems associated with alcoholism (Kinney, Jean and Leat on, Gwen Loosening the Grip. St Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby college Publishing, 1987. In a study done on twins, it was found that if a twin was alcoholic, there was twice the likelihood of the identical twin also being an alcoholic than a fraternal (Royce, James Alcohol problems and Alcoholism. New York: The free press, 1981). It may be okay to assume that a person surrounded by a social and economic conditions under which his father or mother or both became alcoholics might be susceptible than the average person.

Evidence for a major gene for alcoholism is not found in most families in which alcoholism is common. Rather, evidence indicates that there are probably multiple genes and other possibly environmental factors that tend to increase or decrease the probability of becoming an alcoholic. A person with alcoholic relatives has a demonstrable higher risk of becoming alcoholic than a person without alcoholic relatives. As long as alcoholism has been identified as a disorder, it has been proposed that it is a single disorder with specific subtypes, each consisting of a specific set of traits (Jellinek 1960: Beresford 1991).

Some evidence suggests that each subtype of alcoholism may be influenced by a distinct set of genes, since the patterns of inheritance and the relative importance of environmental factors for each type may differ. Genetic research relies heavily on comparisons; researchers must be able to compare the DNA of the person with the disorder with that of a person without the disorder. Therefore, the search for a gene for alcoholism has accompanied research on biological risk markers that distinguish alcoholics from nonalcoholic. People who have alcoholic genes are always addicted to alcohol which is a chromic disease. It carries with it symptoms which includes compulsive use of it, impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with alcohol and use of alcohol despite adverse consequences.

These symptoms may be continuous or periodic. Studies show that men are more genetically vulnerable to alcoholism than women. It is also shows that one in five women (compared to one in three men) may become addicted to alcohol at some points in their lives. Women tend to become intoxicated more quickly than men of the same size do with the same number of drinks.

Natural fluctuations in women’s hormone levels may also affect the rate of alcohol metabolism, making women more susceptible to elevated blood alcohol concentrations at different points in their cycles. (web). 9 Heath 1991) have reported that abstinence from alcohol, frequency of alcohol consumption, and quantity of alcohol consumed are, to some degree, inherited separately. In addition, a number of behavioral and.