Does a family history of alcohol abuse put you at risk of following suit? Is alcoholism genetic or can it happen to anyone? If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction right now, you might be asking for the reasons why. In fact, there’s a variety of possibilities.
Is Alcoholism a Genetic Disease?
To be clear, so far, scientists haven’t isolated the alcoholism gene. Nevertheless, they have found some genetic variations that people with an alcohol use disorder may share. These findings lead them to surmise that there are genetic risk factors for developing a use disorder. However, having the gene variation doesn’t automatically predestine you to suffer from alcohol addiction.
The Thinking Behind the Genetics Theory
If your parent struggled with an alcohol use disorder, passing on the genes heightens your risk of doing so, too. This is due to the way that the genes make you metabolize the drug or react to it. Case in point is the size of the amygdala. People with a smaller amygdala have a higher risk of developing an addiction.
That said, the opposite is the case, as well. Scientists are well aware of a gene variation that causes someone to respond to alcohol with nausea. If your parents passed this gene down to you, you’re at a lower risk of alcohol addiction. The accompanying side effects are too unpleasant to keep drinking.
Understanding the Disease Model of Addiction
Is alcoholism genetic? In some cases, it’s possible that genetics play a role. However, there are other risk factors, too. There are mental illnesses and social conditioning, for example.
In the end, an alcohol use disorder is a chronic illness. There’s no cure. It is, however, possible to treat it and achieve remission, which makes living sober possible. Working with a rehab facility is the key to success.
What Happens at Rehab?
You meet with an intake counselor who asks about your alcohol dependency. The goal is to develop a customized treatment protocol that fits your needs. Possible modalities include:
- Group therapy sessions for addiction education and peer-directed learning
- Private meetings with an addiction treatment specialist for psychotherapy
- Dual diagnosis assessment and treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders
- 12 step program attendance that assists with relapse prevention
- Aftercare as a means of protecting your newly found sobriety while returning home
At rehab, you also have the opportunity to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a powerful tool for behavioral modification. Aside from genetic possibilities, it helps you pinpoint your personal reasons for falling victim to alcohol addiction. Once you understand your triggers, the therapy then empowers you to make changes to your responses to them.
Signing up for Rehab Today
Scientists are continuing to debate what causes some people to fall victim to an alcohol addiction while others never will. Is alcoholism genetic in your case? Even if it isn’t, getting help through rehab can make a significant difference in your goal of attaining sobriety. Contact the Soledad House today by dialing 866-314-3222 now.