Alcoholism tends to run in families, and genetic factors partially explain this pattern. It is impossible to reduce your genetic risk. However, risk is not destiny. Certain factors, like strong social support systems, can help protect even high-risk people from becoming alcohol dependent. Other suggestions include:
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/.
Patient education materials: strategies for cutting down. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/clinicians_guide_cutdown.htm. Accessed April 14, 2007
Patient education materials: what’s a standard drink? National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/clinicians_guide13_p_mats.htm. Accessed April 14, 2007.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Peter J. Lucas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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