Alcohol Use and Older Adults

Frequently Asked Questions

18. If one of my parents had an alcohol use disorder, does that mean I will, too?

Many factors can influence a person’s risk of an alcohol use disorder. Some people inherit genes from a parent that increase the likelihood of an alcohol use disorder. People who drink heavily for a long time are more likely than people who start drinking later in life to have a family history of alcohol use disorder. High levels of stress, having friends and family members who drink, and ready access to alcoholic drinks also increase the chance of developing a problem with alcohol. But having an alcoholic parent does not always mean that a child will develop alcohol use disorder. Some people develop an alcohol use disorder even though no one in their family has a drinking problem.

Learn more about family health history and alcohol problems.