Research has established that some of the risk of addiction to both alcohol and drugs is inherited from your parents and grandparents. Children of alcoholics are 50 to 60 percent more likely to develop alcohol abuse disorders than children in the general population. Similarly, children of parents who abuse illegal drugs may be 45 to 75 percent more likely to do so themselves than the general public. This suggests that some of the risk factors for alcohol and other drug use are deeply rooted in genetics.

Treatment for drug and alcohol abuse

Treatment and rehabilitation processes are similar for people suffering from both alcoholism and drug addiction. People who suffer from both diseases are treated with the same medications as someone with one or the other disease. The differences between rehab and treatment for someone with both alcoholism and drug addiction would primarily be making the dually addicted person acutely aware they have both concerns and address both forms of the disease concurrently and accordingly.

Combined cost of drugs and alcohol problems

Alcohol and drug abuse impose enormous costs on the social welfare system. One study conservatively estimates that more than 3.3 percent of current social welfare cases are attributable to alcohol or drug abuse. This number is directly tied to cases for which there is a direct administrative finding of eligibility due to disability or impairment from alcohol or drug disorders. It is possible that the actual number of persons whose alcohol or drug abuse problems led to participation in the social welfare system may indeed be much higher, because both alcohol and drug use prevalence rates are somewhat higher than this estimate (in the range of 5 or even 10 percent). Determining the level at which alcohol and drug abuse impair or prevent persons from working and lead to receipt of welfare benefits is an important policy issue, and this study represents an attempt to analyze available data and construct reasonable criteria for this issue.