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Research shows children of alcoholics are about four times more likely to develop alcohol problems than others. But alcoholism isn't determined only by genes. Half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholics.

Sadly, alcoholism is an enormous problem in the United States. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism. And one out of three kids lives with a parent who is alcohol- or drug-dependent. Aside from risks such as blacking out or being injured from falls, research shows alcoholism increases chances of heart disease, liver cirrhosis, depression, brain damage, cancer, stroke and suicide. Nearly half of all fatal car accidents are alcohol-related.

Alcoholism usually cannot be controlled by willpower alone. There is no known cure, but it can be treated. Treatment often consists of detoxification, prescription medications and counseling. Regular attendance to Alcoholics Anonymous ( meetings can be highly successful.

POSTED ON 3/4/2010 8:00:00 AM


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