Alcohol pp 23-34 | Cite as

Genetics of Alcoholism

  • Norman S. Miller
  • Mark S. Gold
Part of the Drugs of Abuse a Comprehensive Series for Clinicians book series (DOAC, volume 2)


One observation is relatively certain: Alcoholism runs in families. Medical experts seem to agree on this point more than any other. Any given alcoholic has a 50% chance of having at least one family member with alcoholism. A family that has at least one alcoholic is likely to have others, that is, 90% chance of having two or more family members with alcoholism. Furthermore, alcoholics with a family history of alcoholism tend to have a more severe course with greater adverse consequences from alcoholism. Alcoholic parents have alcoholic children about 4 to 5 times more often than do parents who are not alcoholics.1, 2, 3


Biological Parent Foster Parent Alcoholic Parent Drinking History Great Adverse Consequence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman S. Miller
    • 1
  • Mark S. Gold
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Cornell University Medical CollegeWhite PlainsUSA
  2. 2.Fair Oaks HospitalSummitUSA
  3. 3.Delray BeachUSA

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