Gene Variation Makes Alcoholism Less Likely in Some Survivors of Sexual Abuse (audio) Washington University in St. Louis Share Print E-Mail Loading audio... Caption Exposure to severe stress early in life increases the risk of alcohol and drug addiction. Yet surprisingly, some adults sexually abused as children -- and therefore at high risk for alcohol problems -- carry gene variants that protect them from heavy drinking and its effects, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Credit Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Usage Restrictions With credit Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.