Causes and factors of alcoholism

Alcohol dependents or alcoholics often develop progressive tolerance to alcohol, which can lead to severe health problems. Having a family history of alcohol abuse puts someone within the same family at an increased risk of also developing alcohol addiction later in life. Evidence exists that children of alcoholics are about four times more likely than the general population to have drinking problems. Biological factors that play a role in the development of alcohol use disorder are those factors occurring biologically in an individual, including genetics and brain chemistry.

Alcoholism remains to be a result of environmental and genetic factors. Genetics only increased the risk of being one, but it doesn’t have to shape a person’s destiny. If anything, it can lead to early prevention instead of becoming an obstruction. The psychological factors of alcoholism refer to the psychological characteristics of an individual that drive them to seek satisfaction through alcohol.

Psychological factors

Simply being around family members who drink frequently can cause you to start doing the same. They can glamorize heavy drinking and make it seem acceptable, so you’ll feel better about doing it as well. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior. Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. There are many risk factors involved in the potential for developing alcoholism. Alcoholism risk factors do not mean you will develop a drinking problem; however, they should serve as a prevention measure.

  • In clinical practice, the term “alcohol use disorder” is used to describe someone with an alcohol addiction.
  • If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, help easy to find.
  • Another environmental factor, income, can also play a role in the amount of alcohol a person consumes.
  • According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), approximately 16 million people in the United States suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • After a long period of drinking, your brain begins to rely on alcohol to produce certain chemicals.
  • Getting treatment, if needed, along with support and encouragement from support groups and those around you can help you remain sober.

In the United States alone, adults aged 18 to 29 have the highest percentage of alcohol problems. Teenagers are also at risk, as the alcoholism trend among younger people seems to increase every year. Overall, 23 percent of adults aged 18 and above drink more than five alcoholic drinks in one day. It is also reported that more men are former regular drinkers, while women tend to be current or former drinkers.


You’re more likely to develop an addiction if a parent or relative has dealt with alcohol use disorder. Although there isn’t one true gene that causes alcoholism, many scientists believe that several genes are responsible for about half the risk of developing it. People with these genes are also more likely to misuse alcohol if they also deal with social and psychological influences related to addiction.

What are the causes and consequences of alcoholism?

What are the causes and effects of alcoholism? Typically, alcoholism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. This form of addiction usually causes damage to a person's mental, physical, and emotional health, and will require professional help to overcome.

And sadly, deaths related to alcohol consumption have made it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Any number of traumatic experiences can place a person at risk for developing an alcohol disorder. For example, a military member who had survived a gruesome wartime event may turn to drinking alcohol because they are unable to healthily process their memories. These practices are highly maladaptive and can progress to alcoholism the more a person forms an emotional dependence.

Why It Is Essential to Address the Causes of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

However, heavy alcohol consumption can deplete the stores of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that produce feelings such as euphoria and a sense of calm and happiness. Even so, alcoholics continue to drink alcohol in the belief that it can reinstate their sense of well-being. Drinking more than three drinks in a single sitting will temporarily cause your blood pressure to rise, but extended binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption can cause a permanent increase in blood pressure. No matter how many risk factors are present in an alcoholic’s life, treatment is still possible. It’s critical to remember that no risk factor is determinative, and your history does not decide your future.

What are the 7 factors that can influence the effect alcohol has on a person?

Genetics, body weight, gender, age, what type of beverage, food in your stomach, medications in your system, and your state of health, influence how people respond to alcohol.

However, about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Chronic alcohol abusers and alcohol dependents can choose to attend an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center to recover completely from the disease. Alcohol rehab centers provide unique programs for each patient to be able to address the patient’s individual needs. People with pre-existing physical or mental illness are also recommended to enter an alcohol rehab center so they can get special medical attention. An alcoholic who does not want to enter a rehabilitation center can join a local support group like Alcoholics Anonymous. Some medications may work for alcohol dependents, while other alcoholics may require alternative medication.

Treatment providers have years of experience dealing with alcohol addicts from all walks of life with all types of risk factors. Contact a treatment provider to find a rehabilitation facility today. Whether at home, at work, or in any other environment that causes stress, some people will have a drink to unwind and relax.

  • A BAC from 0.35% to 0.80% causes a coma (unconsciousness), life-threatening respiratory depression and possibly fatal alcohol poisoning.
  • Based on these findings, the causes of alcoholism can lie in mental and emotional health.
  • Symptoms (which are typically experienced in addition to others caused by alcohol withdrawal) include delirium (confusion), high blood pressure, and agitation.
  • Severity is based on the number of criteria a person meets based on their symptoms—mild (2–3 criteria), moderate (4–5 criteria), or severe (6 or more criteria).
  • A person who is overly stressed, anxious or depressed may begin using alcohol to cope but eventually develop an alcohol addiction.

Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition involving frequent or heavy alcohol use. People with alcohol use disorder can’t stop drinking, even when it causes problems, emotional distress or physical harm to themselves or others. The earlier a person begins experimenting with alcohol, the higher the risk of an alcohol use disorder.

Do you still want to hang out with your friends who drink, but don’t want to partake? He or she will talk to you about how these incidents have affected you long-term, and you’ll learn how to cope with trauma without turning to alcohol.






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