Our genes can pass pass down all kinds of traits. Sometimes, these are positive traits, and other-times these are negative traits. Studies have shown that alcoholism can be an inherited trait. This does not mean that just because you have a family history of alcoholism that you are going to turn into an alcoholic.
How-to Navigate a Family History of Alcoholism: Nature versus Nurture
While it is possible for someone to inherit alcoholic tendencies, there is also an environmental factor in all of this as well. It is true that some people who are born with the genes that make them prone to alcoholism are responsible drinkers or may never even have a drink in their entire life.
There are some of the environmental factors that could increase the likelihood that someone who has inherited these genes could struggle with alcohol. For example, physical or sexual abuse, or lack of parental supervision could all be a factor. Additionally, poor social skills, alcohol and drug experimentation, poverty, and the availability of alcohol are other factors. While some of these things are difficult to control, you can help by resisting peer pressure, drug usage and coming up with rules around alcohol use.
Know that even if you have an alcoholic parent, you do not have to become one too. Although it may be hard at times, try and have a positive mindset. Set goals and work towards them. Do not assume that you will fail just because of your family history. One good step to take is to find a mentor or an adult you look up to that will hold you accountable.
You will also have to hold your own self accountable as well. Stay away from situations that could lead to temptations. True, this is not always the fun or easy choice. This may mean skipping a party or choosing to not hang out with friends who are drinking. You will have to be in charge of your own destiny. This is true for everyone, but especially people who has a family risk of alcoholism. Know you are taking these steps to help keep you healthy and safe.
It is possible to inherit genes that make you more prone to alcoholism. However, that does not automatically make you an alcoholic. By making positive decisions and holding yourself accountable, you do not have to go down that path.