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Do You Have the Alcoholic Gene?

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 10 comments

Do You Have The Alcoholic Gene? Is Drinking Not Your Fault? Can You Really Put the Blame Elsewhere?

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselvesEric Hoffer

I don’t define myself like that anymore, I used to, not now. I’m not a drinker anymore.

You’ll get the same.

It’s hard to change what you define yourself as if you don’t know it’s wrong in the first place.

But once you see what’s happening, you know that defining yourself as a drinker has just led you somewhere bad.

It’s that same with cravings.

I did crave alcohol when I quit and so will you.

I craved the lifestyle because that’s what I knew, that’s where I found my comfort.

This will happen to you as well.

You will crave the things you used to do.

Now, I don’t crave alcohol… I crave life, I crave progress.

I still don’t like being bored, not relaxed etc. But I do other things, better things. I had to find other things to do with my time. The alternative was slipping backwards. But then I found that these new things brought me much more happiness. I never found happiness in the bottle, only temporary pleasure. And that pleasure is fleeting. It doesn’t last. It’s a thing of the moment. And there’s always a price to be paid for pleasure found in drugs. You get the short term price of the poisoning hangover and the long term price of physical, mental, emotional, and life damage. Eventually, even the alcohol stops delivering any pleasure.

If you couldn’t get hold of any alcohol how could you be an alcoholic. What would you crave? If there was no alcohol, if you didn’t know of it’s existence. What would you crave?

Alcohol is a drug.

Society looks for excuses. Blame you while deflecting the attention away from me.

Dresses up it’s alcohol in fanciness. Pretends that alcohol is good for you, even in small doses. The person is wrong not the drug. How is that right? Have you ever heard of any research claiming that heroin addiction might be genetic? No. What about cocaine? Cigarettes? No. Why? How can they say this about these things when they are relatively new on the scene. They’d be laughed out of the lab.

I believe that most of the research bankrolled by alcohol companies. Prejudiced! They want to legitimize and commonize alcohol drinking, regardless of the human cost. Profits over humans.

Scientists have to narrow their research all the time. Niche. They have to work in a narrow field, usually working on a singular problem. If I’m a scientist working on something for years and I turn out to be wrong, that means my whole life’s work might down tubes, for nothing. I don’t know how many scientists are working on this problem, I’d say a lot because of the money involved for anyone who can prove it to be true. Proof can be faked and usually is in these cases. The results can be cooked by adding one element while leaving out another. Prejudiced?

It’s a habit. You’re in control. Mind over matter. Proved time and again. It’s obvious to me.

People are brought into the habit by others.

They see drinking at home. They are encouraged by their mates. Bullied into drinking maybe. Then life takes over.

Studies of students given Alcohol free beer have proved that those who drank alcohol free beer but were told they were drinking beer with alcohol got drunk. And the same with vice versa.

Belief creates the actual factWilliam James

Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Angela W

    I understand what you are saying about not being born to drink , but it does seem some people have a physiology that reacts differently to alcohol ? For instance when I drink I become highly stimulated like I’m on speed and I wanna keep going all night , when my boyfriend drinks ge gets tired and wants to go to bed . Ive read that some people release more opiate or endorphin like chemicals when they drink , they seem to be the ones that turn into hard drinkers . I think anyone can become addicted however , because it’s an addictive drug .

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I agree. I presume that some people are just that bit more addicted to getting addicted. But I think we also use it as an excuse for why we can’t. “I must have the gene”, or a thousand other excuses. Some people have to try harder at escaping the pull. It still doesn’t detract from the personal choice. Each and every mouthful is a personal choice. If you were locked in a room where you couldn’t get access to any alcohol, no matter how much craving you felt, you wouldn’t be able to satisfy the urge. Your mind would find ways to control the urge. Alcohol/human reaction depends on many different factors. But there’s only one factor that really counts – if it is in your body or not. If it’s not in your body, it cannot influence you. The only thing that influences you truly is your own mind. Control that and you control everything else.

  2. Andy smith

    Hi keV.

    Congratulations on your achievements so far. You speak the language of the ordinary man , not some mumbo jumbo
    Spouted by some Oxbridge professor on good morning Britain on the whys and wherefore of being a pisshead. I was a big drinker for over 25 years and I lost so much during that time. I finally decided to quit and haven’t touched a drop for 18 weeks now. I feel as resolute as I did back in December and have no intentions of ever going back to that life. Your videos are truly inspiring and certainly in my case have helped massively , certainly at the times when I questioned whether sobriety was worth it. You are a credit mate.

    Best regards

    Quick question for you. When you see people like gazza on t.v. do you feel any sympathy for them or is it just simply they don’t want to stop

    • Kevin O'Hara

      I’m mixed with Gazza. I think he’s a product of his own fame. I feel sorry for him, but he reminds me of Georgie Best… got a new liver and still didn’t stop. Maybe courting the fame through the hard lifestyle, no matter what?

  3. Martin

    Of course it can’t be a matter of genes. Notice that noone ever tells the he or she did something heroic because of their genes. You won’t hear an olympic medalist who says: I did it because of my genes! You won’t hear a mountain climber who says it. Yet still there is a bunch of people who point at genetics when they need to justify their poor choices.

  4. Patrick

    I do not think it is a disease but people do react t alcohol differently. I am sober 10 days thanks to these videos.

  5. Judi

    Day 38 for me Kevin! A year ago I went 39 days. I love your videos and I am grateful I found you on YouTube. You are Spot on.

  6. Peter

    Day 28 today Alcohol free, cheers Kevin, I came across one of your video’s (28 days ago) and something just flipped my head and the whole need for Alcohol seemed pointless, cannot put my finger on it why I related to you, suffice to say I have had a drink of Alcohol in one guise or other EVERY day / night for the last 40 yrs and I just stopped and I’ve never felt better, long, long way to go, but I now know I can do it!!.

    As for the gene thing I agree with you total rubbish.

    Thanks for your inspiration matey.

  7. Bruce

    Kevin…Tell me why the Medical Profession accept the fact that there is an alcoholic “Gene”?? What do thy know – that you do not!!

    I have seen this Alcoholism problem in more than half my family – both English and German!! So please explain why you make this “statement”!!


  8. Derek

    Hi Kevin,

    First, I want to thank you for your videos . . . they’ve helped me find the courage to change my life. Been off the booze 3 weeks. Some little things surprised me. I wear an activity monitor so I have a log of my resting heart rate going back 3 years. A few days after quitting, my resting heart rate has gone down by 15 beats/minute after years of stability at the high-normal range. I’ve also lost over 10 lbs since stopping 3 weeks ago. My thinking is way clearer. My sleeping dramatically improved. My snoring has reduced by about 80% (my wife’s favourite part), and it looks like my sleep apnea might have vanished. People are asking me where I got my tan (it’s been rainy and cloudy here for weeks so it’s all my liver’s doing).

    I want to switch gears though, because although I love your videos, this one I thought could easily be misconstrued. The two main issues I had were: a) the characterization of genetics as it relates to addiction; b) the dismissal of geneticists’ views as biased due to conflict of interest.

    No credible scientist would say there is a single “alcohol gene.” Genes do not alter complex behaviours that way. However, they can and do influence susceptibility indirectly by altering biological and emotional characteristics related to the issue at hand (e.g., genes can modulate susceptibility by influencing: the density of receptors that alcohol happens to act on, speed of recovery, how rewarding alcohol is, proneness to sensation seeking etc.).

    The alcohol flush reaction is a concrete example of how genes can influence susceptibility to habit drinking in drinkers. This flush reaction is associated with a particular genotype (the ALDH2 allele). In those with the allele, alcohol metabolism is altered, and drinking it causes blotches and flushes. In turn, this genotype is associated with lower average rates of alcoholism (presumably because alcohol is less rewarding). Of course, this is a protective genetic factor, but it is easy to see the inverse occurring.

    You’re right that there are not genes that make you seek alcohol in particular if you’ve never had it. I think that was probably your main point and it still stands. It’s true because that’s not how genes work. However, it is also important to acknowledge that, all other things being equal, genes certainly can influence susceptibility to developing a habit out of drinking by affecting other characteristics.

    I wanted to touch upon one last point because I think it is an important one in today’s political climate of alternative facts. As a scientist, I can say hand on heart that the vast majority of scientists do not work the way you describe in the video. When they do, there are always dozens of scientists who are only too happy to prove them wrong. No question, the scientific method is not perfect, and does err. However, it remains with us and has accomplished so much, because it is less susceptible to bias than the alternatives. It’s true, some privately funded research is fraught with problems and conflicts of interest, but if you see a wide range of publicly funded science all pointing in the same direction, it is important to pay attention to it (while evaluating it critically, of course). It shouldn’t be dismissed off-hand.

    Thanks again for your amazing work.



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