Alcoholic in family ‘inspires’ kin to follow suit

May 24th, 2011 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 24 (IANS) It has always been said, but now there is research to back it. People who have a close relative with alcohol problems run an increased risk of starting to abuse alcohol.

The study from University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that people who have a close relative who is an alcoholic react more positively to alcohol than other people.

The study is the first to have investigated a large group of people who have a close relative with type I alcoholism. Previous research in the field has been based on a more limited population, such as sons of alcoholic fathers, reports the journal Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.

There are two types of alcoholism, type I and type II. Type I alcohol abuse depends to a large extent on the interaction of genetic factors with the environment, such as social environment and life events.

Type II alcohol abuse involves a large genetic risk of developing alcohol addiction, independent of environment, according to a Gothenburg statement.

“The study is unique in the way in which we have studied how children of type I alcoholics experience the effects of alcohol and compared this with the experiences of the control group, which consisted of people who had no history of alcohol abuse in the family,” says Anna Soderpalm-Gordh at the Sahlgrenska Academy of Gothenburg University.

“The group of people who were children of type I alcoholics were healthy and had no mental health problems, and they did not have alcohol problems themselves.”

The scientists gave moderate amounts of either alcohol or placebo in the form of juice to a group of 51 participants, 34 men and 17 women.

The scientists discovered that participants with a family member with type I alcoholism reported more positive and more stimulating effects from drinking alcohol than participants in the control group.

These individuals also wanted to drink more alcohol than those in the group without any heredity effects.

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