In this short video from Mayo Clinic, you can hear more about how genetics may help clinicians treat alcohol use disorder. According to them, as many as three in five Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for the illness; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that about 18 million people are affected. The disorder is characterized by the compulsive use of alcohol, in which individuals don’t have control over their alcohol intake, and they enter a negative emotional state when they can’t use.
There are treatments for the problem, but it's thought that only about ten percent of people with the disorder are treated. Some researchers think that genetic data could improve the therapeutic options; many people who have alcohol use disorder are related to others that have it or substance abuse disorders like it.