A portrait of the COGA participants with the COGA logo.

Welcome to the Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) website.  COGA is the most comprehensive research project ever to be conducted on the inherited aspects of alcohol use disorder (AUD).
COGA has the goal of identifying genes that influence an individual’s risk of developing alcohol problems, and understanding how that risk unfolds across the lifespan. These discoveries are used to develop more tailored and effective strategies to prevent and to treat alcohol problems.

Signs of Alcohol Problems

  • Drinking more than you intended
  • Trying to cut down, but find you can’t
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from alcohol
  • Craving alcohol when you can’t get it
  • Drinking interfering with your home life, work, or school
  • Continuing to drink even though it’s causing problems with family or friends
  • Giving up important activities to drink
  • Getting into situations where you could get hurt (driving drunk, unsafe sex, etc)
  • Continuing to drink even though it’s making you depressed or causing health problems
  • Needing more alcohol to get the same effect
  • Trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, etc as the alcohol wears off

Genetics & Alcohol

Learn about how genes and environment come together to contribute to alcohol problems.


Learn more about new findings surrounding genetics and alcohol.

News You Can Use: How does Service Use for Alcohol Problems Relate to your Generation?

What was studied and why? Understanding the context around why people seek out help and treatment (aka services) for alcohol problems can help researchers and clinicians to better study and support those same individuals’ treatment and recovery. Service use patterns for alcohol problems have changed over the years, whether it be due to policy (e.g., [...]


Worried About Alcohol Use During the Pandemic?

COGA researcher, Dr. Danielle Dick, contributed a blog post to Psychology Today titled “Worried About Alcohol Use During the Pandemic?” The full text can be found at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/genes-environments-and-human-behavior/202005/worried-about-alcohol-use-during-the-pandemic.   In the article, Dr. Dick addresses the increase in alcohol sales that has been seen across the country since the start of COVID-19 shelter in place orders. [...]


Alcohol sensitivity as a risk factor for heavy drinking and alcohol problems

General background about how genes contribute to alcohol use disorder risks: The pattern of causes of alcohol use disorders are typical of most diseases such as heart attacks and diabetes in that genes contribute to the risk in the context of the environment and a person’s opinions and attitudes (e.g., Schuckit et al., 2011, 2012b). [...]


Did you know?

Alcohol Use Across Time

Different things impact alcohol use.

Click the title to learn more about alcohol use across time.

Alcohol & Genetics

Intensity of response to alcohol is one genetically influenced pathway to problems.

Click the title to learn more about alcohol and genetics.

Nature & Nurture

Genes and environment are important for AUD development.

Click the title to learn more about these factors play a role in AUD.