Alcoholism Often Runs In Families

By Staff Writer

Parents who are alcoholics and do not seek help from addiction rehab facilities may be putting their offspring at a greater risk of developing a similar dependency. A new study from researchers at the University of Copenhagen shows that the children of alcoholics are much more likely to become alcoholics themselves.

Previous studies noted some degree of association between parental alcohol abuse and substance use issues in their offspring. However, the unique factor in the current study was its size and length.

The researchers followed more than 7,000 men and women who were born in the Netherlands between 1959 and 1961, collecting information about their health. They then analyzed the medical records of the participants’ offspring, looking for signs of alcohol addiction.

They found that parents who struggled with alcoholism were much more likely to have children who dealt with the same problems. This effect was more pronounced in girls than in boys, and was present regardless of other potential risk factors like socioeconomic status and other mental health conditions.

The findings could provide important information to public health workers and rehab treatment workers, the researchers said.