The Causes of Alcoholism
Substance use disorders are the major public health issues facing the United States today. It is estimated that
more than 15 million Americans suffer from alcoholism. Several factors mitigate the onset of excessive alcohol use
These include genetics, general risk factors, gender, family links and people with emotional and behavioral
It has been discovered that there is one gene called DRD2 that causes humans to a predisposition toward alcoholism.
The presence of this gene does not cause alcoholism itself but it does make the person feel the effects of alcohol
more intensely which in turn can lead to the excessive use of alcohol.
By itself, this gene is not a predictor of alcoholism but is thought to account for half of the total risk for
General Risk Factors:
Other factors behind the excessive use of alcoholism include drinking in adolescence as well as drinking in the
elderly. Although it is more common for young people to drink in excess, the elderly are not exempt and because of
the serious life changes that can come about in the elderly they can be at an extreme risk.
Gender is another factor. Most alcoholics are men however; the incidence of alcoholism in women is increasing in
People with emotional and behavioral disorders are more susceptible to the abuse of alcohol as are people in
It has also been found that people who live in urban areas are more likely to drink in excess leading to
alcoholism than people who live in non-urban areas.
Studies have shown that people who crave sugar have a higher tendency to drink alcohol in excess. It has not been
proven yet whether sugar cravings can be used as an indicator for alcoholism or if people with alcohol addiction
satisfy their cravings with sweet alcohol rather than sweet foods.
People who come from families of alcoholics have more of a tendency to begin drinking alcohol at a younger age and
eventually become alcoholics in the same manner as their alcoholic family members.
This risk for alcoholism in sons of alcoholic fathers is more than 25% but the familial link seems to be weaker
People with a family history of alcoholism are also more likely to begin drinking at earlier ages, which
increases their risk factors toward abuse.
Alcoholic beverages have been in existence for some say 15,000 years.
Drinking steadily and consistently over time can cause a physical dependence on alcohol as well as withdrawal
symptoms when going without alcohol for very long. Physical dependence will not lead to alcoholism by
There must first be issues involved that cause the person to abuse alcohol and to abuse alcohol in an effort to
deal with painful emotions and/or experiences. Many factors lead to alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
These things are important to recognize when the alcoholic goes through recovery and quits abusing
alcohol. Any factors that can be removed or solved need to be addressed as part of the alcoholism