Understanding alcohol use disorders and their treatment

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. Teenagers are more vulnerable to peer pressure, as they are still learning to control their behaviors and impulses. They often find it hard to resist peer pressure especially from older and more experienced people.

As the liver no longer processes toxins properly, a person will be more sensitive to medications and alcohol. Alcohol use speeds up the liver’s destruction, reducing the liver’s ability to compensate for the current damage. Lifelong abstinence can improve liver function, but the permanent and severe damage from cirrhosis might mean that the person needs a liver transplant to survive. Along with the hereditary elements, a person’s association with others and the environment can contribute to the development of alcoholism. There is a clear link between heavy alcohol use and many types of cancers.

Prevention and Risk Factors

Some of the most commonly studied examples include Islam, Mormonism, Evangelical Protestantism, and Orthodox Judaism. Around 14.1 million adults and 414,000 adolescents in the United States had an alcohol use disorder in 2019. In Colorado, where The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is located, the prevalence of past-year alcohol use disorder was 14.6% (or 86,000 people) in 2019. This rate is higher than both the regional average (11.7%) and the national average (9.8%). While there is no universal indicating factor to one’s risk level, there are some factors that have historically been known to contribute to developing the disorder.

If you have one or more risk factors, speak with a medical health professional about alcoholism warning signs and prevention resources. Roughly causes of alcoholism 43% of Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. An estimated one-third of alcohol abusers report experiencing a mental illness.

Personality Factors

The more you turn to alcohol to ease feelings of pain and hardship, the more your body becomes tolerant to the drug and relies on its effects. Co-occurring alcohol abuse and mental health conditions, like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia, can cause an array of serious side effects. In order to overcome these issues, each one should be treated by a medical specialist. The amount of time it takes to become addicted to alcohol depends on unique factors, such as a person’s genetic makeup and how much alcohol they consume. Some research suggests that those who begin drinking in their teen years and have a family history of alcohol addiction are more likely to develop problems with drinking. Those who drink large amounts of alcohol are likely to become addicted more quickly, as binge drinking and heavy drinking are both linked to alcohol addiction.

Dr. Ashish Bhatt explains how the combination of influences and genetics can cause some to develop a substance use disorder earlier in life than others. Alcoholism is a very complex disease, and every case is different. There are dozens of risk factors and causes, any of which can impact a specific individual. Also, no factors are determinative; someone with very few risk factors may have severe alcoholism, and someone else with many risk factors may have no drinking issues.


Those recovering from alcoholism might also find stress to be an emotional trigger and end up relapsing. An alcohol abuse problem can include binge drinking, having negative consequences such as hangovers with your drinking but continuing anyway, and drinking despite the desire to stop. A person who experiences feelings of low self-esteem or self-worth may start drinking alcohol more frequently to numb intrusive thoughts. When a person does not have a positive self-image, they may care less about the consequences of heavy or frequent drinking. In these cases, a person is often treated with a dual-diagnosis approach.

Research has shown a close link between alcoholism and biological factors, particularly genetics and physiology. While some individuals can limit the amount of alcohol they consume, others feel a strong impulse to keep going. For some, alcohol gives off feelings of pleasure, encouraging the brain to repeat the behavior.

Alcohol can damage the cells in your mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. Alcohol can help cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and other sources enter your cells more easily. You may know about the dangers of blood clots and high levels of fats and cholesterol in your body. Studies of heavy drinkers also show that they are more likely to have trouble pumping blood to their heart and may have a higher chance of dying from heart disease.

  • Self-medicating also happens when people are too scared to confront their feelings and talk to someone about them.
  • Alcoholic liver disease is liver damage from overconsuming alcohol.
  • Men tend to have a lower response to alcohol, which can make them more likely to use larger quantities and develop an addiction.
  • Peer pressure, wanting to fit in socially, and a desire to feel more mature than one’s actual age are common motivating factors for a young person to try alcohol.
  • People who grow up in a family where heavy drinking is practiced, or even encouraged, are more likely to develop alcoholism.

However, it can become a bad habit relatively quickly,  depending on how strong the influence of friends, family and society is on a person. Social and environmental influences increase the likelihood of becoming an alcoholic. Factors such as the availability of alcohol, peer pressure, social class and any kind of abuse can play a role in the development of alcohol addiction. Addiction is a psychological process, in the sense that a person’s thoughts become consumed by alcohol, and they behave in ways aimed at obtaining and using more.

Individual factors include age, gender, family circumstances and socio-economic status. Although there is no single risk factor that is dominant, the more vulnerabilities a person has, the more likely the person is to develop alcohol-related problems as a result of alcohol consumption. Poorer individuals experience greater health and social harms from alcohol consumption than more affluent https://ecosoberhouse.com/ individuals. This means that people with genetic or family risk factors who begin drinking large amounts of alcohol early in life may quickly escalate from experimenting with alcohol to developing an addiction. On the other hand, people who begin drinking later in life and do not have a strong family history of alcoholism may be able to drink in moderation and never develop an addiction.

causes of alcoholism

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