Alcoholism By Andrew Dana Allen “What is alcoholism?” Alcoholism itself is a chronic illness that is characterized by the habitual consumption of alcohol to a degree that interferes with physical, mental and social health. Alcohol is a depressant that will release feelings of guilt, anxiety and remorse if taken in heavy quantities. It will impair your motor skills slowing both your alertness and awareness that can lead to many accidents. “What are the facts about alcoholism?” Recent studies have shown that 50 to 80% of all alcoholics have close relatives that are alcoholics as well. Because of this staggering figure researchers have begun to suspect that there may be a defect in a person’s genetic makeup that could cause alcoholism. In 1990 scientists finally found what they believe to be responsible for the inheritance of alcoholism in family lines. The defective gene is located on chromosome 11 and is called Dopamine. Dopamine is a receptor located in the pleasure center of the brain; people with fewer dopamine receptors are very likely to develop alcoholism. This defect has been noted in many people with a family history of alcoholism. Some other scientists have been skeptical of these findings, but we now have solid proof that a person is not always an alcoholic by choice. Predestined alcoholism has been haunting society for years but it is only recently being dealt with. It is my belief however, that alcoholism is indeed heredity. The evidence that is provided is simply too substantial to ignore. Family history of alcoholism shows that throughout the generations there has been a steady pattern of alcoholics within families. With the new found information on dopamine and the possibilities that is has, society can no longer write off alcoholics as social misfits that make the choice to drink. It is tragic to think that a person’s destiny in life has already been planned due to a genetic defect. “Just how big…

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