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This article uses the research findings on genetics and alcoholism as a basis for nursing practice. Alcoholism is a complex genetic disorder in which multiple genes and the environment interact and contribute to the disease process. Family, twin, and adoption studies have consistently shown the genetic influence on alcoholism. Animal and human studies are identifying biological and genetic markers for alcoholism. The results of these studies should direct nurses in assessing patients at risk, educating patients about the disease and the rationale for selected treatments, referring at-risk individuals to support groups, and using supportive therapy.
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© 1998 W.B. Saunders Company. Published by Elsevier Inc.