Do Genes Alone Determine Whether One Develops a Drinking Problem?

Do Genes Alone Determine Whether One Develops a Drinking Problem?

For years, it has been known that hundreds of genes may amplify a person’s risk of becoming an alcoholic.

But are our genes the only factor? Are genes really our destiny?

Researchers at Arizona State University Tempe recently examined that question and discovered that other factors play a role. They recently published their findings in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

In particular, the level of social support a person enjoys may also be a key factor.

For their study, the research team looked at genetic makeup, personality traits, social support, and alcoholism risk among more than 2,800 men and women aged 18 to 65.

Among other things, they discovered that those individuals with an elevated genetic risk for alcoholism also tended to have thrill-seeking personalities.

Other factors?

Jinni Su, an assistant professor of psychology and lead study author, offered this observation; “we found that people with higher genetic risk for alcohol misuse are more susceptible to having poor social relationships.”

She also noted that “strong social support from friends and family was protective against drinking, particularly among people who had elevated genetic risk and sensation-seeking tendencies.”

Michael Pollard, a senior sociologist with the RAND Corporation, had this to say about the study; “We already know that social support is protective against all kinds of negative outcomes, including alcohol use disorder, but this study helps put a link between social support and genetic predisposition by identifying its role in reducing sensation-seeking,” and problematic drinking.

And that’s where Aware Recovery Care comes in.

One of our central tenants is that recovery means helping our client’s families heal as well. That’s why family therapists are integral parts of our care teams.

If you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.