Is AUD heriditary ?

Posted , 12 users are following.

This question really interests me. I've read articles where some experts claim it is, some say about predisposition and others say it's not.

The reason it interests me is I was adopted when I was six weeks old. My adopted parents hardly ever drank although there was always drink in the house as they did a lot of entertaining. I didn't grow up seeing people drinking heavily or being told alcohol was evil, the demon drink.

I was an only very happy child, no childhood traumas, all in all lots of friends and very confident.

I knew from a very young child that I was adopted and it was never an issue until I had my first child. How could anyone get rid of a baby, just hand it over because she didn't want it, some dirty secret, out of site out of mind.

I have three children, adults now, who I obviously adore and there's no way I'd have given them away. My confidence disappeared, I had low self esteem, thought I was useless at everything. After all my birth mother didn't want me, so there must be something wrong with me.

To cut a long story short, I tracked down my biological mother and contact was made through a social worker. I must stress that at any time did I want a relationship with her. I purely wanted to find my identity and to see this person who didn't want me.

She was Irish, married and I had 3 half sisters. Anyway a meeting was arranged and I met her, along with one sister. My biological father died from liver failure,due to alcohol. My biological mother had a brother and sister with AUD, along with several cousins.

Paul, if you read this, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and anyone else's 


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68 Replies

  • Posted

    My mother was brought up in an Irish orphanage run by nuns then the whole orphanage was shipped over to Australia.She met my English dad there and had me

    And yes she was an alcoholic and a drug addict till she died by chocking on her own for me I think there's s link

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    • Posted

      hi nicole

      am sorry if I've upset you by answering. I was taught by catholic nuns, the main reason I hardly ever go to mass. They were cruel beyond belief in the orphanages and launderies in Ireland. The shipping of kids to Australia is yet another act of cruelty. The church has a lot to answer for.

      many thanks

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    • Posted

      No you havnt upset me.

      I blame the church for my alcoholismūüėŹ

      It mucked my mum up and because of that me as well,but it's all water under the bridge now and I don't really blame them(that's my attempt at humour)

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  • Posted

    Hello VicklyLou. Never heard of AUD and assume that this is hereditatry to alchohol via your birth parents and theirs genes and DNA heritage? I think YES since my father was a heavy drinker and joined the AA when he was 60 and stopped drinking till he died last year at age 79. His father was also a drinker...Robin
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    • Posted

      Hi robin

      AUD alcohol user disorder. I'd never heard the term until last week. You're not alone!

      thanks for replying. I'm certain there's a definite link, the more I read and here from people like yourself and others, seems to comfirm what I've researched

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  • Posted

    Looks like I'm the odd one out then. I grew up with both my biological parents, and I knew I wasn't the milkman's because I shared quite a lot of physical characteristics with my father.

    Neither my mum or dad were heavy drinkers and I myself didn't really touch drink at all until I was 18 - I know that's the legal age for alcohol (except for people over the pond that have to wait another three years) but it would appear that nearly all my peers and just about every other kid in the land, was far ahead of me in the drinking stakes.

    So I can't blame it on herediatary genes or wayward parents, it lies firmly at my doorstep.

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  • Posted

    My father died of Cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 64.  As far as I know he only drank in the evenings and never at home, but I know he found it hard to give up the drink when he was diagnosed.

    The subject interests me too.  Do you think it is something to do with inheriting an addictive personality?


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  • Posted

    It's a great question,

    The main two factors seem to be genetics, DNA, etc. or learned behaviour? I think no-one has given a 100% definate cause yet. I haven't read any reports from top health officials with an absulutely irrefutable answer.

    My parents and their siblings (14 in total), didn't have a problem - one was a heavy drinker but he never lost a days work because of it. My dad had a taste for whisky but never went OTT.

    On the other hand, I have many, many, cousins a lot of whom are alcoholics - mostly men if that makes a difference? So if it's genetic, it seems to have missed a generation.

    I believe that one of my grandmothers liked a drink but it was never mentioned that she was an alcoholic. in my grandparents and parents days, it was a tough life and the escape from the day to day drudgery and responsiblities was to go to the pub as an escape.

    That certainly can't be said of my generation, we had more options and opportunities but we couldn't wait to be old enough to go to the pub - a lot of us went at 15 and sat in a quiet corner. 

    i think Paul posted that it is a learned behaviour pattern and I confess that I'm thinking more and more about this; it seems to make alot of sense. if we take two twins, both nipple fed, both brought up the same: same education, same hobbies, same work, same social ativities (including drinking)......... one becomes an alcoholic but the other one doesn't? Did the 'drinking' genes affect one and not the other?

    I'm sure it's all been researhed but still no definate answer.

    I'm leaning towards learned behaviour - the only puzzling factor is that, socally, some of my friends darnk far more than I did. I certainly couldn't keep up with them or my 'drinking uncle'. Perhaps that's why I started drink lquor more often? They seemed to be able to work through hangovers though wereas for me, it was always a 'hair of the dog'.

    i guess it would be good to know but, unforunately, we are what we are and have to deal with it - same as some of us have to deal with 'normal' heredity deseases.

    All the best.  



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    • Posted

      I've always said it was a medical disorder that is not the fault of the person suffering, Colin. I may have referred to something being related to learning (e.g. the opioid receptors re-learning not to crave, although I normally use the term 'reconditioning') but I don't believe that alcohol problems are simply just learned.

      While I believe that the condition already exists in a person, it has to be triggered. For example, if a person never had an alcoholic drink, they couldn't possibly get addicted to alcohol. It appears to take varying amounts of alcohol, in different people, to kick off the problem.

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    • Posted

      I believe that as well.Someone could technically be an alcoholic but if they never touch a drop of alcohol in there lives they would never know.

      Well that sounds a bit weird but you get what I mean

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