The genetics behind alcoholism are extremely complex and far from fully understood. Alcoholism is not caused by a single gene, but rather a large number of genes that interact with one another. At least 51 genes that impact alcoholism have been discovered. Genetics impact many aspects of alcoholism. For example, genetics influence how easily and quickly alcoholism is broken down, how severe hangovers are, how alcohol makes an individual feel, how much an individual seeks out risky behaviors, and how likely someone is to stop or continue drinking.