Teetotalers With a Family History of Alcoholism

August 15, 2016 Kira Lesley

Some teetotalers abstain from alcohol because the have a family history of alcoholism. Gillian Jacobs, Hal Sparks, and Joe Biden are a few famous names that attribute their sobriety to teetotaling because of a family history of alcoholism.

Alcohol Abstinence and Teetotaling Due to Family Alcoholism

[caption id="attachment_4254" align="alignright" width="239"]If your family history reveals alcoholism, do you choose to be a teetotaler? The disease model of alcoholism lends itself to supporting teetotalling. Read this. Gillian Jacbos[/caption]

I first heard of someone abstaining from alcohol due to a family history of alcoholism during an interview with comedian and actor Hal Sparks (Queer as Folk, Vh1's Best Week Ever). When he said he had never consumed alcohol, I assumed it was due to religious beliefs or a physical disease. As it turned out, it was because of a disease--alcoholism. Although the causes of alcoholism are not entirely understood, genetics seems to play a role.

Gillian Jacobs (Community, Girls, Love) is another actor and comedian who has never had an alcoholic drink and chalks her teetotaling up to family alcoholism. I found it refreshing and encouraging that in a society that normalizes alcohol consumption--even alcohol abuse--these celebrities were setting a healthy example.

Do Family Histories Show Alcoholism Is a Disease?

Abstaining from alcohol consumption because alcoholism runs in your family makes sense when you think of it from the disease model. Yes, the disease model of alcoholism and addiction in general is hotly contested. But think about it--if you have a family history of diabetes, you might feel compelled to watch your sugar intake. Some people elect to have pre-emptive surgery due to predisposition to certain cancers. While the medical field is still debating the risks and benefits of pre-emptive surgeries, abstaining from alcohol is, overall, probably a health positive choice.

Abstaining from Alcohol Due to Alcoholic Family

See Also:

A Family History of Alcoholism: Are You at Risk?

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APA Reference
Lesley, K. (2016, August 15). Teetotalers With a Family History of Alcoholism, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Kira Lesley

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