Outline

  1. Clarify a particular type of addiction you want to study

Alcoholism. Alcoholism is a strong and uncontrollable desire to take alcohol (drink). It is often a priority of addicts to indulge in alcohol rather than work or tend to their families. 

  1. Specify the possible genetic reasons for this addiction

It has been established that alcoholism is somewhat related to genes. There is an evolutionary advantage when an animal has predisposition for addiction for some foods. The animal with such predisposition will thus look for the type of food in future and thus survive if such a food is plenty. That is why Pandas like bamboo, bears like fish and so on. If the genetics in some families predispose the family members to alcoholism, it means that they will be more likely to alcohol addicts in future. Some people have a dislike for alcohol since they have genes that make their bodies react violently to alcohol.

  1. Specify the possible environmental reasons for this addiction

Addiction to alcohol can be as a result of environmental factors such as peer pressure, availability, attitude, and stress. 

  1. Explain the impact this particular type of addiction has upon individuals and families

To an individual, alcoholism has the effect of bringing along physiological problems such as blackouts, psychological problems such as an obsessive urge to leave everything for the bottle, and behavioral problems which disrupt health, work, social, and family life. 

To the family, there are different levels. Parental alcoholism affects unborn children health wise and thus give birth to a child with birth defects, and to the born, it affects their growth since they are not well taken care of. Alcoholism destroys families by detaching spouses and adding on unnecessary burdens to one of the spouses. The quality of life of the family reduces. 

  1. Specify some of the most important ways that this type of addiction might be treated.

Alcoholism can be treated using behavioral therapy, use of clinical drugs, use of emerging technologies such as computer programs and instruments, social support, and treating alcoholism like it is a chronic disease. 

Annotated Bibliography

Enoch, M. A., & Goldman, D., The genetics of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Curr Psychiatry Rep, 2001. 3(2): p. 144-51.

This article digs deeper into the science behind addiction and genes. The study acknowledges that alcoholism is 50% genes and 50% coping skills. 

Enoch, M. A. (2012). The influence of gene–environment interactions on the development of alcoholism and drug dependence. Current psychiatry reports, 14(2), 150-158

In an attempt to debunk if there is a relationship between alcoholism and gene-environment interaction, Enoch (2012), looks at the effect of stress especially at adolescence, among other environmental stressors. The article reviews the risk-resilience balance for addiction in the life of an addict and how well the same falls within genetic variation and environment stressors. 

Huebner, R. B., & Kantor, L. W. (2011). Advances in alcoholism treatment. Alcohol Research & Health, 33(4), 295.

This article looks at the cascade of medical and non-medical interventions that have been there in the recent past. Using a descriptive methodology, the article reviews breakthroughs in alcoholism treatment history. The study gives a chronology of what has been happening in the field till the modern day era where we have computers and mobile phone applications

Gustafson, D. H., McTavish, F. M., Chih, M. Y., Atwood, A. K., Johnson, R. A., Boyle, M. G., … & Isham, A. (2014). A smartphone application to support recovery from alcoholism: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 71(5), 566-572.

The problem of alcoholism requires the use of a multidimensional approach in handling their addiction. With this in mind, this article aimed at the use of mobile telephone applications and how well they can be integrated in finding solutions to alcoholism. The study recorded success with mobile phone application intervention. 

Parsons, T. (2003). Alcoholism and its effect on the family. AllPsych Journal, 14.

This article looks at what alcoholism does to a family. It looks at the effects of the disorder from the aspect of an individual and then extrapolates the same to the family starting from an unborn child to the life of spouses. The article is descriptive in nature besides being empirical. 

Prescott, C. A., & Kendler, K. S., Genetic and environmental contributions to alcohol abuse and dependence in a population-based sample of male twins. Am J Psychiatry, 1999. 156(1): p. 34-40.

This article works from the same angle as Enoch and Goldman (2001). It attempts to justify that alcoholism is 50% genetic predisposition and 50% copping skills. The study evaluated identical twins and non-identical twins. The study confirmed that there is a correlation between genes and alcoholism.

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