The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

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images.jpegMy grandpa was an alcoholic. His father was an alcoholic. My father is an alcoholic. Notice a pattern here? Several chapters covered in class mentioned various issues involved with addiction. We learned how addiction can be treated through the use of Pavlovian conditioning, where the addict is exposed to the conditioned stimulus but is not able to feel the rewards of the conditioned response. We've learned that genetics play an influential role in keeping the cycle of addiction alive.
We can't learn from a textbook, however, how difficult it can be to break this cycle. I am sure that my father had no intention of being an alcoholic when he was growing up. I'm sure my grandpa didn't intend to die as a result of years of excessive damage to his liver. The break in the cycle of addiction is something we cannot simply learn from reading a text book, but is an effort that one must be conscious of making on a daily basis. For example, despite attending the University of Minnesota-- a school known for its wild frat parties-- I do not drink. Not that I ever have, though. I had to make the decision to stop drinking, as simply fun and harmless as it seems, because I know that one does not simply intend to become addicted to substances-- it creeps up from under us and grabs hold.
In all aspects of our lives, we must make conscious decisions of how choices can affect us in the future-- from what cereal to eat in the morning to deciding to pick up that bottle or needle. Those of us who are predisposed to the disease of addiction need to be especially careful when deciding what is needed in order to have a 'good time.'


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I can relate to this article. Alcoholism runs in my family and in my earlier years of college I could definitely feel the disease grabbing a hold of me. Now being older and having experience of drinking and the negative effects, I have made the choice to be severely aware of the amount of consumption. While I have not discarded it from my life, I am aware that it runs in my family and that you don't intend to have it be your life path. It simply can happen to you if you aren't aware of you actions.

Addictions are a scary topic. Especially because, as you mentioned, nobody wants to be addicted, but they can take over and completely control you. The worst part is that they are extremely hard to break. As genetics are definitely part of the cause of addictions, it would be very informative for treatment centers to find out just how big of a factor genetics are and exactly what other causes are out there.

Great blog. I have the same situation in my family, and it the key reason I have chosen to never drink. I'm a commuter mostly because I don't want to put myself into the situation many students on campus do, at a crazy party with new friends who they want to think that they're cool, so they drink. You make a great point that our conscious actions now can severely impact that future, and I think a lot of people should take notice to that.

I think that's great that you chose not to drink, and are making an effort to break the cycle. My granda was an alcoholic and as little as my dad talks about it, I am starting to learn more and more about it as I get older. My dad has never drank my entire life and I never really realized why. I can only remember seeing him drink one beer once in my life. I know my dad had some crazy college years and I know now that he made the decision to stop drinking so he wouldn't become addicted like is mother. His parents were divorced and they lived with his mom, and when his dad was moving to Michagon him and his siblings when with becuase his mom was not in a stable condition. As much as he loved his mom, he wanted to make sure that he didn't provide that kind of environment to his kids, and I am very thankful for that.

I also salute you on not drinking. I know how hard it can be not to do what everyone else is doing (conformity) and to stand up for what you believe in. My father also had trouble with drinking. But I'm also very very prooud of him. I remember when I was younger he would come home from work and would watch TV and drink. Now I was much younger and thought this was normal, and so it is in many households, but I never thought of it as a bad thing. I think it stemmed from the fact that he would never get overly drunk and could usually compose himself quite fine after/while drinking. But one night he got arrested for drinking and drving, but it's not as bad as it sounds. First of all, he was driving home from the bar by my cabin which is less then a mile away and the town holds maybe 50 people. Still people could have gotten hurt. The kicker is he blew I think a .01 or something super small but he has a class A license which says he can drive with absolutely no alcohol in his system. Even so he still got taken down and ever since after that night he hasn't drank a single alcoholic beverage. I know how hard it can be to quit an addiction so I'm very proud of him, and anyone, that can break the cycle.

I'm very impressed that you've decided to stop drinking now to prevent the alcoholic cycle in your family from arising in you. It's very sad to think that a person can have something like this embedded into their genes. I have quite a few family members that have gone down a certain path and then their children also going down a single path. Best of luck to you!

Alcoholism is a very scary addiction. Too many people fall into the trap thinking, "oh, it won't happen to me" despite seeing so many of their loved ones fall into the same trap. With drinking so prevalent in college towns, students don't always realize how addictive alcohol can be. Our society and culture, especially in the Midwest, encourages the idea of alcohol as just another common place beverage that is acceptable in almost all social settings. Drinking is definitely glorified which is just another trigger that allows people to slip into addiction.

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This page contains a single entry by stase007 published on April 23, 2012 3:39 PM.

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