My father was an alcoholic. Is alcoholism genetically transmitted, or is it learned?


#1

His father was also an alcoholic. My wife is pregnant and we are going to have a child soon. Is this something that can be transmitted through genes?


#2

It is a matter of both genes and environment. People with addictive behaviours present histories of stress (recommending lifetime adjustments to chronic stress) and have genes for vulnerability and increased impulsiveness.

Check this out, an article on the genetic nature of addictive behaviour:

There’s no genetic link to alcoholism. But there is a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviour. Alcohol is usually the most available and socially appropriate compound for abuse in the vulnerable individual.

Think of it this way. Much like an inherited genetic predisposition to pollen allergy, so is alcoholism. The allergic person needs both the genetic predisposition and the pollen, while the alcoholic needs both the genetic predisposition and a breeding environment.

There is still an incredible quantity of research ongoing in the US and the UK for more information about this disease, both the transmission and advancement, in addition to efficient treatments.