Is Substance Abuse Hereditary?

There are many contributing factors to someone’s tendencies towards alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse disorder occurs when an individual drinks so much that their body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted to alcohol. When this happens, alcohol becomes the most important thing in their life. When there is a dependence on alcohol, chemical changes occur in the brain. The pleasurable feelings that occur with consuming alcohol have a diminishing return rate. 

Who is at risk for alcohol use disorder?

Unfortunately for individuals that experience a high level of stress, have low-self esteem, experience peer pressure, or live in a family or culture where alcohol use is common and accepted, there may be a greater risk for alcohol use disorder. In some cases, when individuals have a parent with alcohol use disorder, a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia there is a much greater risk for developing alcoholism. 

As far as current research suggests, there is a link between genetics and substance abuse. Genetics is usually 50 percent of a contributing factor for alcoholism. If an individual is genetically predisposed to metabolize alcohol in a way that pleasurable effects outweigh feeling nauseous, overheating, or mood swings, the person can be much more likely to develop alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is a serious problem, especially in the United States. There are an estimated 18 million adults that struggle with alcohol abuse. This amounts to 1 in 12 individuals.  

What are the symptoms of alcohol use disorder?

Symptoms of alcohol use disorder are based on the outcomes that occur as a result of addiction to this substance. People with this disorder may drink alone, drink more to feel the effects of alcohol due to a higher tolerance, become aggressive when confronted about their drinking habits, maintain poor eating habits, and neglect personal hygiene. Physical symptoms include alcohol cravings, withdrawal symptoms like shaking, nausea, and vomiting, tremors, lapses in memory, and illnesses like alcoholic ketoacidosis or cirrhosis.

Alcohol use disorder treatment centers in Havertown, PA and Newark, DE

Luckily, there are treatment plans for individuals afflicted by this illness. Community-Based Treatment provides care from outreach and services, through detox and stabilization to aftercare and integration, including pharmacotherapy. It involves the coordination of services prescribed to meet the patient’s needs. Support is also given to a family to address the drug and alcohol problems in their complexity and to ensure systematic and continuing results.

For those in Havertown, PA or Newark, DE, there are solutions through American Treatment Network, a proven substance abuse clinic. American Treatment Network’s philosophy is customized integrated health care for our patient’s physical and behavioral needs in one central location and provides the follow-up support necessary to conquer or defeat opioid and alcohol addiction. If you or a loved one are concerned with alcohol use dependency, contact American Treatment Network today.  


Schedule Now