Alcoholism Treatment Center Anthony NM

Alcoholism may appear after the first drink, many years of drinking, or after a period of binge drinking. If a person's culture is alcohol free, obviously the genetic influence will not cause alcoholism.

Southern New Mexico Human Development
(505) 882-5101
820 Highway 478
Anthony, NM

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Alternative Center for Behavioral Hlth
(915) 565-4800
5001 Alabama Street
El Paso, TX

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Veterans Affairs Healthcare System
(915) 564-6159
5001 North Piedras Street
El Paso, TX

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Gately, Michael J.
(915) 542-4951
1733 Curie #204
El Paso, TX

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Park, Richard L.
(915) 544-3400
1921 E Yandell
El Paso, TX

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Charles Canada NCC
(915) 566-4667 
El Paso, TX

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Serenity Outpatient Services Inc
(915) 566-2000
4625 Alabama Street
El Paso, TX

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Stephen D Tackett, NCC
El Paso, TX

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Gately, Michael
(915) 542-4951
1733 Curie #204
El Paso, TX

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Southern New Mexico Human Development
(505) 589-1147
3465 McNutt Road
Sunland Park, NM

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What Causes Alcoholism?

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What Causes Alcoholism?

Philip Sicks

Friday, September 14, 2007 What causes alcoholism? Alcoholism is a disease caused in part by genetics, in part by culture, and in part by personal choice.

Several twin studies have looked at the different alcoholism rate between twins using a group of identical twins and a group of fraternal twins. If alcoholism were only a behavior learned in the home, a set of identical twins should have the same rate of alcoholism as a set of fraternal twins. In fact, if one identical twin is an alcoholic the odds that the other will be also is higher than the odds for fraternal twins. Because identical twins have the same set of genes, and fraternal twins do not, there must be something in the genes themselves that increases the chances of becoming an alcoholic. (Crabbe, J.C., & Harris, R.A., eds. The Genetic Basis of Alcohol and Drug Actions. New York: Plenum Press, 1991.)

Culture also plays a part. Alcoholism may appear after the first drink, many years of drinking, or after a period of binge drinking. If a person's culture is alcohol free, obviously the genetic influence will not cause alcoholism. If the culture only approves of light drinking and occasional drinking, the rate of alcoholism will be lower than a culture that encourages alcohol use. (American Psychologist, 39, 1337-1351, 1984. Reprinted in W.R. Miller (Ed.), Alcoholism: Theory, research, and treatment, Lexington, MA: Gunn, 1985.)

Personal choice also plays a role. Som...

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