Alcohol Addiction Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

Alcohol Addiction Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

In all the cases of people with alcohol use disorder, about 50% have a genetic component that fuels the disease. But your genetic makeup is only one part of the equation. There are other factors that influence your risk for developing an addiction to alcohol.

At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment, we offer medication-assisted detox and treatment services for people who are ready to stop drinking and regain control of their lives.

Board-certified psychiatrist Richard E. Repass, MD, specializes in intravenous (IV) infusions of BR+NAD™ to reduce your alcohol cravings and help your brain and body heal. Dr. Repass also provides general psychiatry services to ensure you have the support you need to maintain long-term sobriety.

How genetics influence alcohol use disorder

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic medical condition that describes an inability to stop using alcohol despite its negative effects on one’s physical and mental health, relationships, and ability to care for oneself.

Excessive alcohol use causes changes in the brain that ultimately lead to strong cravings for alcohol. Brain changes can also trigger uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.

Biologically, there are several genes that can contribute to risk factors for developing alcohol use disorder. While there are no individual genes that are directly responsible for the condition, the more genetic factors you have for alcohol use disorder, the more likely you are to experience challenges.

This means that even if you have a few close family members who struggle with alcohol addiction, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed to also have a disorder. There are other factors involved that might further increase your risk, including:

Your social environment can also influence what you drink, how often, and how much.

Strategies to lower your risk factors for alcohol use disorder

Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind if you’re concerned about becoming dependent on alcohol.

Practice self-awareness.

One of the most effective strategies for avoiding an addiction to alcohol is your awareness of your risk factors.

If you have one or more family members with addiction issues, it will serve you well to drink in moderation or avoid drinking alcohol altogether.

Consider your social influences

If you hang out with family or friends who drink often, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to drink.

Take some time to evaluate your social circle and your usual environment. If you’re feeling pressured to drink, seek new opportunities to socialize without alcohol involved.

Enlist the help of a professional

When you find it hard to resist peer pressure to drink, schedule a consultation with Dr. Repass. He can provide you with effective tools you can use to build your confidence in sobriety.

There are also support groups available that help family members deal with the fallout of living with family members who have alcohol use disorder.

If you’re already worried about dependency issues with alcohol, book an appointment with our staff to learn how we can help you achieve and maintain recovery.

Call us at Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment in Mercer Island, Washington, today to learn more about the benefits of BR+NAD infusion therapy.

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