A recent survey of alcoholism studies in the Lancet suggests that men have more than a 20 percent lifetime risk of developing alcohol-use disorders, while women's risk is 8 to 10 percent.
I couldn't help but notice that men have the same kind of bad deal here as they have in the suicide stats we talked about the other day. Why do you think that is?
The main point of the CNN article seems to be that alcoholism is genetic.
Much of that risk is inherited. Studies show that as much as 60 percent of the risk of alcohol-use disorders is genetic, said Dr. Marc Schuckit, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the alcohol and drug treatment program at the Veterans Affairs-San Diego Healthcare System, who wrote the Lancet article.
The risk for alcoholism is four times greater for children of alcoholics, even those who are adopted by non-alcoholic families, Schuckit said.
I find that fascinating. How about you? Everyone agrees that a high percentage of prisoners were abusing alcohol and drugs during their criminal careers. Do you think the idea of genetic predisposition to alcoholism or drug addiction detracts from the idea of personal responsibility? If there really is such a thing as the genetic factor, wouldn't it follow that leniency is appropriate for those afflicted?
What's your opinion?