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A Gene For Alcoholism Essay

893 words - 4 pages

Our genetic buildup is the map that dictates what our life is going to be like, it is what makes us human beings. It defines our hair, eyes and skin color, how tall we are going to be, and what we are going to suffer from. Genetics can define if we are going to suffer from dementia, or a heart disease, or alcoholism, for that matter. There are several genes that can trigger alcoholism, and they can be inherited through many generations. If a relative of ours has suffered from alcoholism, it is likely that we have the gene that causes the development of the disease (Horvath). But what we sometimes ignore, is that if we have a gene for alcoholism, it is not certain that we will develop the disease. It means we could be an alcoholic, but for that to happen, and external factor must trigger it. Among these factors, media exposure is a strong one because it changes our perspective, which leads us to believe what the ads say and start drinking heavily without knowing that the gene for alcoholism is present. This increases the chances of developing the disease. In his article “Genetics is an Important Factor in Alcoholism”, Dr. Glen Hanson says, “No one is born an addict.” We are born with a certain hair, or eye color, and there is nothing we can do about it, unless we dye our hair a different color, but that will be another story. If we are born with a gene that may develop into alcoholism, there are a handful of things we can do to prevent it, such as abstinence or controlling our drinking. So, “Just because you’re prone to addiction doesn’t mean you’re going to become addicted. It just means you’ve got to be careful” (Hanson).
While genetics define what we are going to be like in a physical way, psychology defines our more personal side. It leads to the development of our personality, and sometimes, that may include the development of a condition, such as alcoholism. There are several psychological causes for the disease, like learned behaviors, people’s thoughts, stress or uncomfortable situations, or lack of developmental maturity, which is the ability to act according to what we think and not according to our impulses or sudden whims (Horvath). These causes can all be influenced by media exposure and what advertisement portrays. Viewers can learn drinking behaviors shown in ads and movies or TV shows, and they can change what they think about substance abuse based on what they see. We often underestimate the power media has over us, but the truth is, media has transformed our society, and it has changed our perspective over many topics, such as alcoholism. In a recent study...

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