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Causal factors for developing alcohol addiction

Constant drinking habits or the tendency to consume alcohol in excess may increase the risks of developing alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Addiction to any kind of substance including alcohol can pave way to negative consequences such as abusive behavior, loss of job, injuries, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, physical problems such as liver and kidney failure, sexual assault and even death. According to the 2015 report by National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 15 million American adults suffered from AUD with more men than women.

Alcohol dependence causes chemical changes in the brain, which results in a feeling of high coupled with a desire to consume more. Whether someone is a moderate drinker or a binge drinker, the harmful effects cannot be ignored. No single factor can be attributed to development of alcoholism but some common risk factors are:

  1. Early age drinking: Those who start drinking from initial stages of lives and in excess at one go at a tender age are at a higher risk of being addicted to alcohol. Since the brain is under development during early years, consumption of alcohol can bring irreversible changes whose effects are continued into adulthood.
  2. Family history of AUDs: The risk of alcohol dependence increases in people with family history of addiction problems. This does not mean that all future generations will eventually become addicted but the susceptibility to try out the substance increases.
  3. Mental health disorders: Studies have observed prevalence of drinking habits in those afflicted with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and other mental health problems. Those suffering from psychiatric disorders self-medicate to ease the pain and feel good by being dependent on substances, which further deteriorates their condition.
  4. Social and cultural factors: Social environment plays a major role regarding adoption of certain unwanted habits. Being in the company of those who drink on a regular basis can influence decisions regarding drinking and can result in alcohol abuse. Also, living in an area where drinking is a common phenomenon raises the risk of alcohol use and dependence. The cultural view of alcohol as a necessary part of celebrations and media’s portrayal of alcohol as a status symbol and glamor may encourage teenagers and young adults to try drinking simply in a bid to mimic their famous celebrities or their dazzling lifestyle.

Taking a step in the direction toward sobriety

Some people try to abstain from alcohol completely hoping that the same would help them get rid of their drinking habits. This may be difficult owing to the withdrawal symptoms they go through after they had their last drink or after a period of complete abstention. Sudden distance from drinking increases the risk of relapse in many cases, which can be harder to treat.

The first step to get rid of the drinking habit is to consciously seek treatment in a disciplined environment. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction to alcohol, contact experts at the 24/7 Recovery Helpline who can share details about the best alcohol abuse treatment centers near you. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for further information about treatment centers for alcohol addiction with customized treatment programs to help a person recover from harmful effects.

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