Alcoholism Runs in my Family - Should I Avoid Drinking?

Scientists have concluded that there is a genetic component to addiction. Our DNA programs us to be predisposed to addictive or compulsive behaviors, and this predilection patiently waits for us to discover drugs or alcohol before kicking in and causing us a great deal of pain and misery. One clear indicator that you may be predisposed to developing an addiction is a family history of substance abuse. What, then, should you do about alcohol and other substances if there are multiple members of your family tree who have had struggles with substance abuse?

Obviously, the safest course of action would be for you to abstain from ingesting any intoxicating substances, as this would preclude your developing any sort of substance abuse disorder. For some people this is an easy decision to make, and they can proceed happily through their lives never having touched a drink or a drug. For others, keeping a commitment to abstinence from drugs and alcohol is challenging, especially during our formidable late teens and early twenties. This is a time of experimentation and exploration for most everybody, and avoiding drinking or drug use can be difficult. Still, it is safest to refrain from consuming drugs or alcohol if you have a clear family history of substance abuse, as one night of drinking may be what sets you down a path to the pain and misery of alcoholism.

Not everyone will be willing to sacrifice their freedom to drink or experiment with drugs, even with a strongly indicated familial predisposition to substance abuse. For those who would still like to experiment with alcohol, honesty and full disclosure are going to be crucial policies to maintain in order to avoid any problems with drinking. Talk openly with your family and friends about your experimentation with alcohol, and above all else do not hide your drinking from those around you. There is no shame in experimenting with alcohol, but it is important you test the waters safely given your family’s history with alcohol and drugs. You may be surprised and find alcohol holds no appeal for you, or you may find you enjoy the occasional social drink. No matter the results, keep yourself safe and accountable to others for your drinking in order to avoid the dangers of alcoholism.

Substance abuse disorder is an illness like any other, and there is a proven genetic component to the deadly disease of addiction. For those with a family history of alcoholism or drug abuse, it is wise to refrain from experimenting with these substances as you are clearly likely to develop a problem yourself. However, if you feel a strong desire to try drinking, there are proactive measures you can take to limit your risk of developing a drinking problem. So long as you proceed safely and maintain a policy of full disclosure and honesty with those around you, you can comfortably try some social drinking and see if it is an enjoyable activity for you! If, god forbid, you find you have fallen into the trap of alcoholism, do not feel ashamed! Evolutions Treatment Center is here to help you pick yourself back up and get back to healthy living. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and let us help you stop drinking and return to a happy, productive life before any more damage is done!