Alcoholism Treatment Center Coos Bay OR

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.

Reagan, Charles
(541) 267-7757
1865 Thompson Road
Coos Bay, OR

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Judith Sanders NCC
(541) 756-2020 
No Bend, OK

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Lake Miller, Alden
(541) 521-1255
486 Schetter Av
North Bend, OR

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Spokes, Ryan Elizabeth
(503) 888-6555
2250 NW Flanders Suite 105
Portland, OR

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Looking Glass
(541) 485-8448
20 East 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR

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Serenity Lane
(541) 267-5081
320 Central Avenue
Coos Bay, OR

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ADAPT North Bend
(541) 751-0357
400 Virginia Street
North Bend, OR

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Cynthia Calvert NCC
(503) 282-0104 
Portland, OR

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Andert, Kenneth
(503) 421-5904
1020 SW Taylor Suite 685
Portland, OR

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Columbia Community Mental Health and
(800) 294-5211x201
610 Bridge Street
Vernonia, OR

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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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