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Alcohol and Genealogy-Genes

by Barbara Olivier

Back in history and in most of our family history, we will find alcoholics. Some are even said to be none supportive for their families and abusive to their children and spouses. Many broken families and innocent lives were lost due to drunken brawls, infidelity and children were just accidents or unwanted.

Today some claim it's a gene disorder while others claim it to be a lack of self-confidence, self-worth, or discipline. Are heavy drinkers and alcoholics passing this gene from generation to generation? Most will lie when truth would do better.

Lying is basic to the family affected by alcohol and some will make their claim on parents and say they are victims of dysfunctional family. We make our own life even it its means some support from agencies that specialize in treatments or from doctors.

Were some parents just bad due to their environment, or natural child abusers and spouse abusers, or was that in their genes also? The old saying goes that there is a "bad apple in every bushel!"

Did they pass their actions and attitudes on to their offspring's? Perhaps it was learned and passed from generation to generation! Perhaps it will take years to find these answers. We need to learn how to break these chains.

Will the new study on genetic and DNA find the answers?

Indian Tonic Water was born 1769. It wasn't long before British army officers, who found gin an indispensable antidote to the tropical heat, began mixing tonic water with gin-creating one of the most famous mixed drinks in the world according to history.

The ancient Aztec Indians made a low-alcohol drink called pulque from the fermented sap of agave plants. Aztec emperor Montezuma supposedly presented hollowed-out gourds filled with this concoction to the Spanish explorer Cortez and his men. The Spaniards began to experiment, and discovered that the blue agave produced the smoothest and most flavorful drink-the ancestor of today's tequila.

Heavy alcohol use can affect nearly every organ and every aspect of a person's life. Alcohol is a dreaded drug!

Problem Drinkers are those who have family, social, employment and emotional problems. They are most always finding ways to blame others for their own disability from using alcohol and/or from drug abuse. Those who display these traits are considered "alcohol/drug dependent."

The diagnosis of alcohol dependence is based on the compulsion to drink. Gastrointestinal problems or elevated liver enzymes seem to occur as well as dead brain cells. NIAAA categorizes heavy drinkers into groups: at-risk, Problem drinkers, and alcohol-dependent drinkers.

There are many alcohol treatment programs today that weren't available when our ancestors were making moonshine or other home brewed wine and alcohol. Some people refuse to accept the fact that they are addicted to alcohol or the fact they are at risk for health problems and continue to have problems.

Treatment depends on the patient's alcohol withdrawal, resources, employment status, family support system, access to treatment programs and motivation. A study shows that even patients who do not admit to an alcohol problem can change their behaviors. These problems take an enormous emotional toll on individuals and families. They continue to abuse their family and friends both verbally and physical.

Disorders related to alcohol use are estimated to affect over 7 percent of adults in the United States.

Alcohol is implicated in many neurologic disorders, social and psychological problems, including family conflict, arrests, job instability, injuries related to violence or accidents, and psychological symptoms related to depression and anxiety, acting out, withdrawal, inability to concentrate, school problems, social isolation learning disorders, behavior problems, emotional disturbance and antisocial personality.

Whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash of grain (usually corn, rye, barley, or wheat) and then aged in oak barrels. In the United States, whiskey must be distilled at less than 190 proof (although whiskey). Many people learned to make moonshine/corn whiskey in the south as a means of survival. They shipped their product down the Mississippi River even after it was illegal, in barrels marked molasses. They could raise the corn and sugar cane and most lived near the river for shipping. This type of operation is still in effecting today, hid somewhere in the hills near nice spring waters.

"A Congressman was once asked by a constituent to explain his attitude toward whiskey. "If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I'm against it," the Congressman said. "But if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I'm for it. This is my poison, and I will not compromise."

The question today is, are our young adults passing on a gene or defect to their offspring that they produced in their blood by using illegal drugs, smoking pot and other illegal substances that is passed with their actions? Can this chain be broken? What can be done? How can we as citizens help? We need answers and hope of finding a way to save lives in 2000!

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