Alcoholism Treatment Center Fort Dodge IA

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.

Community and Family Resources
(515) 955-7614
1506 31st Avenue North
Fort Dodge, IA

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Community and Family Resources
(515) 332-4843
19 6th Street South
Humboldt, IA

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Geoff Tyrell, Fairfield Holistic Counseling
(641) 233-8440
Fairfield, IA

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Madison County Memorial Hospital
(515) 462-3105
300 Hutchings Street
Winterset, IA

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Rients Assessment and
(515) 233-4476
510 South 17th Street
Ames, IA

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Trinity Regional Medical Center
(515) 574-6502
802 Kenyon Road
Fort Dodge, IA

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Community and Family Resources
(515) 832-5432
916 Superior Street
Webster City, IA

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United Community Services
(515) 280-3860
401 SW 8th Street
Des Moines, IA

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Mental Health Institute
(319) 385-7231x2211
1200 East Washington Street
Mount Pleasant, IA

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Timothy P Day NCC
(563) 386-4004 
Davenport, IA

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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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