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We Need to Stop Normalizing Family Alcoholism

I grew up in a family who completely normalized regular alcohol consumption like it was no big deal. Family gatherings often included more coolers and kegs of beer than food or other types of beverages, and pretty much everyone over the age of 18 would have a beer or glass of wine in their hand the entire night.

The running joke was that because of Irish and German heritage, this is what we do. While I typically laughed off the notion that alcoholism was “in our genes,” my family’s excuse for heavy alcohol consumption may not be all that far-fetched.

In fact, studies show that several genes can increase the potential for alcohol dependence. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children of alcoholics are four

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