It’s hard to pinpoint what causes alcoholism in one person and not another. However, there are some risk factors and traits that lead to this addiction. Here are some of the most common causes of alcoholism:
There is no alcoholism gene. However, there are several intermediary factors that affect how people become addicted to alcohol. Your biology will affect how strongly you react to alcohol, and how much you enjoy it; without a strong enjoyment, you’re not likely to become addicted to alcohol. Genetics can also affect your brain chemistry and how strongly your brain craves those feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. When your brain is wired to have a strong response to these chemicals, you may crave a stronger amount of stimulation that can be produced by maintaining an addiction.
Personal trauma is another one of the common causes for alcoholism. Substance abuse is a coping mechanism for these people, helping them deal with situations that are psychologically taxing. Once alcohol abuse is in place as a coping mechanism, it can begin to cause its own set of problems, fueling even more of a psychological toll. Once alcoholism gets started this way, it can be hard to correct without outside intervention. It can be necessary to help this person develop healthier forms of coping, such as seeking social support.
The culture of a family or even an entire country can affect alcoholism levels. When a person is taught that heavy alcohol use is okay, it can be hard to draw the line in a healthy spot. The average American adult drinks 8.6 liters of pure alcohol per year, while the average consumption in some European countries can reach above 12 liters per year. Individual families where the average consumption is higher may teach their children inadvertently to become alcoholics.
Sometimes, adults’ development can become stuck. Alcoholism can result from an adult who has yet to move past the pull of their impulses. When the allure of an impulse outweighs their consideration of the consequences, this can signal a developmental issue.
The brain’s chemistry can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons; a poor diet or health routine can even be the source of imbalance if it causes the person to become nutrient deficient. In that environment, it can be more difficult for people to resist the temptation of drugs and alcohol. For instance, when the brain is lacking the nutrients to function well, it can’t deal with emotionally taxing situations or have the energy to enact its willpower. Treating underlying mental health issues and physical health concerns can reduce this cause of alcoholism.
The causes of alcoholism can come in many shapes and forms. For any individual who experiences alcoholism, these can be helpful ideas for pinpointing the source. It may be a combination of many different factors that leads to addiction. Getting a professional to help eliminate some of these risk factors is the best option, since the causes of alcoholism can be complex.