Alcoholism: Choice or Disease
Imagine yourself being 11 years old. You and your next-door neighbor just finished eating dinner, and now playing cards in front of the television. A few hours pass and your mother tells you that its bedtime. After being asleep for a couple of hours, you hear your father come inside your house. This was not unusual; he always comes home late at night. You hear your parents yell at each other and then you hear an awful sound. Did your father just hit your mother only because his dinner was cold, and he was late? You ask yourself ...view middle of the document...
I am not saying that alcoholism is hereditary. It can and does skip some generations. What I am trying to say is that it definitely has genetic factors. Although, you become an alcoholic does not mean that your sister will become an alcoholic too. She might not have inherited that particular gene. If a woman is a good math student in high school, it does not mean that her daughter will be good in math also.
In the Webster’s Dictionary it defines genetic as “Of or pertaining to the origin or development of something; of our relating genetics.” Gene is stated in the Webster's Dictionary as “ A functional unit on a chromosome, responsible for the transmission of hereditary characteristics. The difference in genetics and hereditary is, hereditary is a passing or transmitted from an ancestor to a legal heir transmitted or transmissible by genetic inheritance.
We ask is alcoholism really genetic, well there is a lot of things that run in families: diabetes, musical talent, the ability to learn well, voting republican, and the list can go on and on. However, this does not mean that they are genetic. Voting republican is not genetic; it only has an environmental effect on you. One cannot genetically inherit the ability to vote republican. In some cases, the gene skips a generation or is not inherited. This means that even though one’s father or mother is an alcoholic it does not mean that the child will be an alcoholic. This only happens in the remaining 17.6 million of Americans that have a parent/parents that are alcoholics. My father was and is still and alcoholic and I have no desire to become an alcoholic. This does not mean that in the future, my genes will kick in and I also become an alcoholic, it is very unlikely though.
What is Alcoholism? A tree is known by its fruit, as to where alcoholism is known by its problems. A person can drink a gallon of whiskey a day for a lifetime, not have any problems, and not be an alcoholic. (Goodwin, pg 23) A person also can love the succulent taste of a chocolate donut, and not be overweight. There is an enormous amount of Americans that have the problem of alcoholism, some go untreated and other seek help, like Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization that helps willing alcoholics deal with their problem and try to help them stop drinking. Studies have shown that the most problems of Alcoholism have come from white males between the ages of 35 to 45 years of age.
Alcoholism can be arrested but never cured. One can learn how to control the urge to drink, even the amount they consume. It also depends on how they might have been taught. Some children are not taught that drinking is wrong or should be used in moderation. They grow up seeing their parents drink and are not told that it...