Researchers have long known there was a link between genetics and alcoholism, but the exact genes involved are still being discovered. A recent study, published in Psychiatric Genetics and undertaken by researchers at the University College London in the U.K., has found a rare gene variant that could increase the risk of a person developing alcoholism, as well as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
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Addiction is a damaging disease that impacts the life of an addict and every person around them in a very severe way. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain's reward center becomes so singularly focused on finding and consuming more drugs and alcohol that all of the important relationships in their life become secondary.
Recovering from an addiction is a long emotional journey that can require a lot of personal growth to get back on track. Addicts most often suffer from issues of low self-esteem because their substance abuse has taken its toll on them psychologically.
For a recovering addict, becoming sober means finding a whole new outlook on life and behaving completely differently than one did while they were struggling with addiction. This is why sobriety is a lifelong journey and not simply a quick fix.
Alcohol abuse and addiction contribute to many health problems, including alcoholic neuropathy. More than half of heavy drinkers develop neuropathy, and those with the highest risk are alcoholics who have been abusing the substance for more than ten years.