Can alcoholism be inherited?

My father was a drunkard and beat my mother. Now I'm a drunk too and I hit people in the face. I even enjoy it, but honestly, I wonder if I inherited it.

Is It Normal?
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  • I one can have a predisposition to alcoholism. It's kinda like having an allergy.

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  • Its genetic

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  • I'm inclined to agree with olderdude: it seems to me more likely that you were strongly influenced by growing up in a household with an alcoholic parent. Parents are crucial role models - especially the one that's the same sex as ourselves - and their behaviour during our formative years very often becomes our very deeply-imbedded definition of "normal".

    If you recognise that your behaviour is not having positive consequences - and getting into the habit of assaulting people is never going to lead to a good place - you need to accept responsibility for your decisions and actions and do something about that. Claiming that you're a victim of your father's genes is not going to help you much if end up in court because you punched some dude and he fell down, hit his head in just the wrong way and died or ended up permanently brain-damaged. That sort of thing probably happens far more often than you believe.

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    • Well, I guess "victim of my father's genes" isn't quite what I see myself as, but I think I get your point. It's not that I haven't tried to stop doing both, but somehow I keep getting tempted or put in situations where at least the latter behaviour is almost necessary. Almost.

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      • They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
        They may not mean to, but they do.
        They fill you with the faults they had
        And add some extra, just for you.

        But they were fucked up in their turn
        By fools in old-style hats and coats,
        Who half the time were soppy-stern
        And half at one another's throats.

        Man hands on misery to man.
        It deepens like a coastal shelf.
        Get out as early as you can,
        And don't have any kids yourself.

        Philip Larkin

        (Who was a miserable sod, but not always wrong.)

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        • How that just fits :D
          At least I don't live at home anymore, so he can't show me what an asshole he is. I wonder if my mother is still alive though. We met sometimes on the streets when I was in my old hometown and she told me that nothing had changed. Haven't seen her in a while..

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  • You can be genetically predisposed to addiction, I'm pretty sure.

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  • I would be surprised of there wasn't a genetic component to it.

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    • I personally think there is a genetic component to alcoholism, and drug addiction, but I believe one can learn bad behavior from growing up in an alcoholic, and or dysfunctional family.

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    • People often discount antidotes completely but I saw it so many times growing up. Most notably my neighbor whos parents were raging alcoholics that would beat eachother and he use to always say I will never allow myself to be like them I wont drink. He didnt ever drink a drop until he was like 22 now he's just like them.

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  • Yes it can be but luckily in my family it hasn't. My grandparents on one side were alcoholics but neither my mom nor me and my brother are. Me and my brother almost never drink, he doesn't even get the point of it. I drink sometimes.
    So yeah. Not always

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  • Yes, I dont need some study to show me that it can or cant be inherited. I have seen it happen many times in my life.

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    • Did you ever notice that people got away from it? It's really unhealthy.

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  • No alcoholism cannot be inherited.

    But the behaviors your parents have are typically imprinted into you in your youth.

    You can change those behaviors; but, it takes specific effort and time.

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    • In my opiniom there can be some genetic predisposition to substance abuse ontop of it being environmental. Just like other mental illness can be inherited so can substance abuse issues.

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      • This has actually been studied multiple times looking for an inherited characteristic. These studies are based on children put up for adoption at a very early age compared to children raised by their birth parents.

        The studies found no correlation whatsoever with it being inherited.

        However, many hundreds of studies have concluded that how the parents behave imprints their children.

        This is clearly a "nuture" characteristic.

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  • You can probably have a genetic predisposition towards alcohol, but that isn't what makes you an alcoholic. It's a behavior. You're an alcoholic because you choose to drink too much

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  • I never knew my father, and the abuse stops here.

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  • I have a couple of things for you:

    http://www.rageaholicsanonymous.org/?i=1

    https://www.aa.org/

    I couldn't help noticing how primative the RA site was though, and it made we wonder if they were too impatient to build a better site.

    Also, you NEED to get sober from alcohol.

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  • It certainly can. It's a physical disorder and can be passed on like any other. My stepfather's father was an alcoholic and passed it onto 4 of his sons.

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  • Just don't drink, easy.

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  • Fetal alcohol syndrome is a real thing.

    Also, you learn from example. If your parent(s) were like that, you can be become like it too.

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  • I used to have a coworker who's father is an abusive drunk. He was like I'll never become an alcoholic. Dude turns 21 and ever since drinks to fall asleep every single night. It was like a 2 months later and he was like I can't fall asleep without it and I'm like dude thats alcoholism he refused to listen to me

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  • That's behavior that is learnt.

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  • More like it’s learnt.

    Kid sees, kid grows up and does.

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