Have you ever wondered why some people struggle with alcohol and abuse, while others seem to be able to drink “normally”? The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 140 million people around the world struggle with alcohol and abuse. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 17.6 million Americans struggle with alcohol dependence and abuse. This article discusses 5 risk factors that have been linked to putting people in danger of becoming addicted to alcohol, which include emotional, psychological, genetic, age and gender.
Alcohol and Abuse Risk Factor 1 – Emotional: A person can be tempted to turn to alcohol abuse as a coping device for emotional and stress related issues. One study published in a medical journal showed a link between stress and alcohol consumption and that abusing alcohol changes the levels of stress hormones and serotonin.
Alcohol and Abuse Risk Factor 2 – Psychological: Researchers have shown that various psychological factors increase the risk of alcohol and abuse. Some of these include feelings of inadequacy, a strong need for praise and encouragement and having a short temper and being overly impulsive.
Alcohol and Abuse Risk Factor 3 – Genetic: Researchers believe that family background plays an important role in alcoholism. Certain genetic factors affect the size-variation of right orbitofrontal cortex, which can be responsible for increased susceptibility to alcohol addiction.
Alcohol and Abuse Risk Factor 4 – Age: Teenagers who have had a troubled childhood or who have had family history of manic-depressive illness, stressful life events or violence are more likely to be at risk of becoming an alcoholic. As well as according to SAMHSA those who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholic than those after the age of 21.
Alcohol and Abuse Risk Factor 5 – Gender: There has been studies that have shown that women that abuse alcohol are more likely to have had an alcoholic role model or spouse in their family, whereas men are at higher risk and this is not as relevant a risk factor.
So these are some the most important risk factors for those that make the shift from simply using and abusing alcohol to becoming a full-fledged alcoholic, but rest assured there are so many factors that contribute to this. There is no magic formula or checklist that can tell you whether you or a loved one is at risk, but these can be affectively used to clarify if there is reason to be concerned.
Who Is Impacted by Alcohol and Abuse?
Let’s take a second and consider who is impacted by alcohol and abuse. Alcoholism is clearly not just restricted to the alcoholic, but rather extends to his family, friends, colleagues and eventually all the people around him. In the report Exposure to Alcoholism in the Family they stated that roughly 43% of the U.S. adult population has been exposed to alcoholism or problem drinking in the family. Either having grown up with an alcoholic, having an alcoholic blood relative, or marrying an alcoholic.
The alcoholic can create havoc in the lives of these friends and loved ones, especially as they get closer to reaching their bottom. As their decisions become more and more controlled by their alcohol addiction, they start making worse decisions. Their abuse of alcohol continues to increase with their increase in tolerance and with that their judgment gets more clouded by the alcohol., which for some leads to drunk driving, public disturbances, poor hygiene, fired from jobs and severely damaged relationships.
What Is The Solution?
The hope is that the alcoholic is able to survive these consequences of their alcohol and abuse until they reach their bottom. When the alcoholic reaches their bottom, which is different for everyone, the shift can happen and recovery becomes a legitimate possibility. The risk is it will be too late, and that either health related consequences or accidents will take their life before they can save their life.
Don’t let this happen to you or your loved one and download two free reports at thealcohol and abuse website, covering”13 Must Know Facts to Pave The Way For You and Your Loved Ones to Thrive in Sobriety” and”11 Myths That Keep You From Ever Getting Sober”.