Just as with other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, alcoholism can and does run in families.

Alcoholism is believed to be caused by both genetic and enviornmental influences.

However, just because there is a predispostion to alcoholism due to family history, it does not mean that it will automatically happen.  It does mean, however, you will need to use caution, monitor your alcohol consumption and seek help early if necessar

Have you ever had experience with alcoholism in your family or other families?

Would it be better for a member of an alcoholic family to abstan from drinking?

Does alcoholism run in the family?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    graham nurhal Says:

    I don’t believe you can inherit alcoholism through your genes, but you can inherit a higher tendency towards addiction.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    If you can inherit a higher tendency towards alcohol addiction through your genes, should you then abstain from alcohol?

  3. 3
    graham nurhal Says:

    Maybe, but abstaining from alcohol would make the long mid-winter nights of Northern Ontario even longer!

  4. 4

    I think that alcoholism runs in families. It seems to be a genetic predisposition. One side of my family had numerous alcoholics, and every family of cousins 2/3 or 3/3 admitted to it later in life if it was not evident.
    Alcoholism is insidious. Some people who actually don’t drink constantly are alcoholics- There are also the weekend alcoholics, emotional alcoholics who do not “appear” to have a problem.(The Auntie who has a bottle hidden in the basement).
    I was very cautious about drinking, because I just love wine and it’s so easy to enjoy and use as a reward when we succeed, or a medication when we are tired, lonely, angry, or frustrated. (Like who isn’t?)
    I never wanted to fall into the trap, and didn’t, but I can spot the “signs” a mile away. It’s not a “skill” just a “sensitivity”. We had all kinds in the family…the belligerent, abusive, bar brawlers, gentlemanly, apologists etc. and they all made lives miserable-theirs and neglected families along the way.

    It could have been those long mid-winter nights in Northern Ontario where we all grew up…maybeso. 🙂

  5. 5
    Jim Says:

    Nowhere in the first 164 pages of the AA Big Book does it mention that Alcoholism is a physical disease.
    A quickie test I suggest to anyone who asks is, if you ever ask yourself if you are drinking too much – you probably are.
    Want a test? Pick a time frame in which you promise not to drink.
    You cannot drink during this time for any reason at all including the occasion of a birth, a wedding, a funeral. No yabuts. If you don’t make it, try again.

  6. 6

    Good suggestion, Jim.
    People on the road to alcoholism never ask those questions that require the truth.

  7. 7

    Jim wrote: “Pick a time frame in which you promise not to drink.”

    Great idea… I choose the time when I’m sleeping. 😉

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