Are some people more prone to alcoholism?
There are many things that may trigger alcoholism - depression, trauma, PTSD and sometimes even just an innocent drink every night after work can lead to addiction. But is there anything that makes one person more prone to becoming an alcoholic than someone else?
Alcoholism is influenced by genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors. The process of becoming addicted to alcohol is typically gradual and over time, drinking too much starts to change the normal balance of chemicals and nerve tracks in the brain. This is what’s associated with the experience of pleasure, judgement and the ability to exercise control over behaviour so addicts begin craving alcohol in order to restore good feelings and remove negative ones.
Although it can’t be confirmed that there is any one thing that makes someone more likely to become an alcoholic, there are some risk factors for alcoholism, these include:
Risk factors potentially leading to alcoholism
- Steady drinking over time - drinking too much too often can result in a physical dependence on alcohol.
- Age - those who start drinking at an early age are at a higher risk of problem drinking or physical dependence on alcohol.
- Family history - the risk of alcoholism is higher amongst people who have a parent or close relatives who have or have had problems with alcohol.
- Depression and mental health problems - sadly, it’s common for people with mental health disorders to turn to alcohol or other substances as a coping mechanism which puts them at high risk of developing an addiction.
- Social and cultural factors - being around people who drink a lot could increase your risk of alcoholism because chances are that you will pick up their behaviours. The media is also frequently blamed for glamourising drinking which makes many people think that it’s ok to drink to excess.
- Mixing alcohol with medication - some medications interact with alcohol and increase its toxic effects. This can either increase of decrease their effectiveness which makes them all the more dangerous.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available. You can also contact us today for help.