To understand the genetics behind alcoholism, it helps to have a basic understanding of the difference between the terms that researchers use. People often use the terms genetic and hereditary interchangeably. However, this is technically incorrect. A genetic disease is always caused by an abnormality in a person\u2019s genome, although some of these diseases are hereditary. Genetic diseases can range from a discrete mutation in a single base in the DNA to a gross chromosome abnormality. A genetic predisposition or susceptibility increases an individual\u2019s risk of developing a particular disease based on their genetic makeup. An individual with a hereditary disease has inherited the gene mutation from their parents. Read on to learn more about the connection between alcohol and genetics and how Lucida Treatment Center can help you. The Genetics of Addiction Alcohol causes an estimated 88,000 deaths per year in the U.S. and $249 billion in economic costs. Alcohol has a huge physical, psychological, and economic impact on individuals and society. Because of this, it is crucial that we do more research on the subject. Understanding whether alcoholism stems from a larger set of inherited genes or mutations in select genes is important for treatment. Additionally, it is important for the prevention and potential cures of alcoholism. Genetics is deeply entwined with the evidenced-based concept addiction is a chronic brain disease. Scientists assert that 40-60% of the risk for addiction is genetic. However, recent investigations suggest the interplay of a large number of causal risk variants each contribute relatively small effects. The complex set of phenotypes and genotypes potentially involved in addiction presents a formidable research challenge. Alcoholism Research: Alcohol And Genetics Family studies indicate that children of parents with high-risk alcohol dependence are at a much greater risk of developing alcohol problems. Other studies consistently show that genetic and unique environmental factors influence substance abuse and alcoholism.\u00a0 Research also suggests that stressful environmental exposures during childhood increase the risk of alcohol dependence. In overall terms, research shows that drinking frequency, binge drinking, alcohol abuse, or dependence all have familial elements and are moderately heritable. Researchers concluded that anxiety, mood, and cognition, precipitated by environmental stress and genetic vulnerability can all help determine the course of alcoholism. Can a Genetic Foundation of Alcoholism Reduce Stigma? In a study on 63 participants, one-third of people believed that confirmation of a genetic predisposition would help them accept and embrace treatment for their addiction and cope with associated guilt. Yet, the majority of participants did not believe specific genetic information would be useful to their recovery. The most common reason for this is because regardless of the cause, they would have to do the hard work to maintain abstinence. Even so, people who suffer from alcoholism said that if they knew they were genetically inclined to addiction, they would be more likely to seek treatment and never drink again. The vast majority of individuals believed a genetic component would foster sympathy towards individuals who have the \u201cgenetic disease\u201d of addiction. This could positively impact treatment rates since stigma is still a serious barrier to seeking alcoholism treatment. Researchers hope a better understanding of the biological mechanisms and the role of gene mutations may facilitate different approaches to treatment. This would include the development of methods to personalize substance abuse treatment. How Lucida Treatment Center Can Help Many people suffer from alcoholism either from a genetic condition or from other causes. Lucida Treatment Center is here to help. We understand how difficult it is to reach out for help and know the stigmas involved with alcoholism. Our trained mental health treatment staff is here to help guide you through every step of recovery. A better life is just around the corner. Contact us at so you can learn more information about alcohol and genetics and our programs.