Dr. Marc Schuckit, a psychiatrist at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, is a world leader in understanding the genetics of alcoholism. Here’s what his research tells us.
1. Does booze make you feel bad? Your risk is reduced. If you can toss back multiple drinks without feeling terrible the next day, your chances of alcoholism are increased.
2. How impulsive are you? Risk for alcohol abuse — among other things — is increased for impulsive people.
3. Can you drink people under the table? If so, your risk of alcoholism is increased because you will drink more.
4. Do you suffer from bipolar disorder? Researchers don't know the mechanism, but they appear to be related to addiction.
5. Do you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? Stress has been known to increase incidence of alcoholism and drug addiction.