Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism does indeed run in families.
The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Currently, researchers are working to discover the actual genes that put people at risk for alcoholism.
Your friends, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for alcoholism.
But remember: Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn’t mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too.
Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem.
By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol.
Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing problems with alcohol.