Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism does indeed run in families. The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Currently, researchers are working to discover the actual genes that put people at risk for alcoholism. Your friends, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for alcoholism, alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction.
But remember: Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism or alcohol dependence tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol. Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing problems with alcohol or alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism, alcohol addiction and alcohol dependence are basically the same type of alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse, however, is different than these three. Alcohol abuse is when someone drinks too much alcohol at a given time, such as in a social setting. This individual is not necessarily an alcoholic or addicted to alcohol. While not as detrimental as alcoholism, alcohol abuse may lead to drunk-driving arrests or accidents, drinking-related medical conditions and an inability to handle one's home, work or school responsibilities. Alcohol abuse should be taken extremely seriously.
The average length of time you spend in an alcohol detox program is between three to seven days. Alcohol detox can be completed safely and effectively in any residential alcohol treatment program. If you are using drugs in conjunction with alcohol, it is imperative that this information is shared with the treating physician. These additional drugs can drastically alter the alcohol detox protocol designed for you, which is the tool used to manage your alcohol withdrawal symptoms.