Blue Eyes = Alcohol Abuse?
Do you have blue eyes? Well, not only were you genetically gifted with a beautiful set of peepers, but you may also be at a higher risk for developing a drinking problem.
At least that’s what the latest scientific research suggests. A recent study from the University of Vermont discovered that individuals with blue eyes possess a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
If you find that a bit strange, well, you’re not alone. Can eye color really aid addiction professionals in determining if someone will grow up to struggle with alcohol abuse? According to Arvis Sulovari, the lead author of this study, it can.
Sulovari said, “This suggests an intriguing possibility — that eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis” (Pioneer News).
To reach this conclusion, Sulovari and his team examined genetic profiles of over 1,200 people. They then applied filters for individuals with a history of alcohol abuse and of European descent.
Their findings? Individuals with European ancestry and light colored eyes are more disposed to alcohol dependence than individuals from other parts of the world and with other eye colors. Of light colored eyes, those with blue eyes present the highest risk of problem drinking.
This latest study confirms the long held idea that Caucasian Anglo-Saxons are more prone to alcoholism than other races.
What This Mean for Diagnosing Alcoholism
It’d be easy to get carried away with this new information and make blanket statements like “you’re automatically an alcoholic if you have blue eyes.” That sort of over the top reaction helps no one and, in fact, does no good at all.
Rather than falling into hysteria, let’s take a balanced look at what this can tell us about the future of diagnosing alcohol use disorders.
First and foremost, it gives clinicians one more tool in their arsenal. Remember, addiction and mental health professionals aren’t blindly diagnosing someone as an alcoholic because they drink too much. Rather, they have a number of criteria, pulled from the DSM-5, that helps distinguish alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and heavy or binge drinking.
So, if someone is displaying signs of alcoholism, but are “on the fence,” their eye color may help clinicians make a final decision. That’s, ultimately, all this study means.
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Should I Be Worried if I Have Blue Eyes?
That’s the million-dollar question. Should you be worried if you have blue eyes and like to drink? What about if you have a loved one with blue eyes who might be drinking too much?
The answer is a resounding no! You shouldn’t be worried simply because of something one study said. As mentioned above, this is a great tool for professionals to use to help diagnose alcohol dependence.
The key words there are professionals and help. You’re not a professional, so don’t sweat it! Leave the heavy lifting to the men and women who have made fighting alcoholism and drug abuse their life’s work.
Second, blue eyes and ancestry only help clinicians. They don’t automatically make someone who’s a heavy drinking into an alcoholic. I said that before but it certainly bears repeating.
So, what does this latest study into possible genetic signs of alcohol dependence tell us? Not much more than we already knew. It’s that simple.