Genetic Predisposition to Alcoholism.

It is a mysterious fact that some people begin to drink alcohol and become dependent to an extent that they cannot perform tasks or feel comfort without taking alcohol, while others begin to drink but remain independent. This mystery has triggered a lot of research into determining the causes of the difference. Investigation of genetic relationship to alcoholism constitutes an active part of the entire research to determine exact cause(s) as to the disparity. However inconclusive, certain research outcomes create close link of alcohol dependence to genetic structure. According to Hart and Ksir (2011), most individuals who begin to take alcohol and develop serious dependence do so because of some genetic connotations that depend on alcohol for proper coordination. However, there are also individuals who become dependent on alcohol even when their genetic programming is negative towards drug dependence.

Since there is no clear relationship between alcohol dependence and genetic programming of individual drinkers, many scientists conclude that predisposition to alcohol largely depends on the surrounding environment. This means that one can have genetic predisposition to develop dependence, but may not do so if the surrounding environment does encourage easy access to alcohol. The finding that certain individuals develop dependence even without genetic predisposition to alcoholism also disqualifies the power of genes in inclining an individual towards dependence on alcohol.

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From the above discussion, it is conclusive that environment rather than genes determines predisposition of an individual to alcohol dependence. With this understanding, the best treatment choice for a person who depends on alcohol is counseling and guidance by a psychiatrist. In fact, there is no viable and provable way that health professionals can treat the problem of genetic predisposition to alcoholism. This is because effective treatment would require manipulation or erasing of particular genetic coding, which is impossible and impractical. This understanding leaves counseling and guidance as the only viable way that can also regulate, influence and vary environmental factors to achieve recovery of an individual addict.


Hart, C &Ksir, C. (2011). Drug, Society & Human Behavior. 15th Ed. New York: McGra-Hill.

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