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Alcoholism Risk Factors

There’s no great big sign on our foreheads when we’re born that will tell us, for sure, that we’re alcoholics. The disease of alcoholism can affect anyone and everyone regardless of race, gender, genetics, age, and/or social status. However, there are some things that can put someone at a higher risk of developing alcoholism and these are known as alcoholism risk factors.

Here are some of the most well-known and biggest alcoholism risk factors.

Heavy Drinking

People who don’t drink at all obviously are not at risk of becoming alcoholics because they don’t drink. So drinking alcohol definitely raises the risk of getting alcoholism and drinking heavily even more so. The National Institute of Health recommends not exceeding one drink a day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Low Response to Alcohol

People who have to drink more alcohol tend to end up developing a tolerance to alcohol. People who have to drink more alcohol also tend to drink more in a sitting and drinking more alcohol in one sitting can definitely increase the risk of becoming alcoholic or developing alcoholism.

Underage Drinking

The earlier someone starts drinking the greater the chance they have of becoming an alcoholic. Teens who start drinking before they are 15 are about 50% more likely to develop alcoholism in comparison to teens to who wait until they are 18 or older to start drinking.

Childhood Trauma/Abuse

Numerous studies have shown that the incidence rate of childhood trauma in patients who are in treatment for alcoholism or addiction is much higher than average especially with women. Trauma can be physical, emotional, or sexual.

Easy Access to Alcohol

People who live in a society that doesn’t allow drinking or in societies that prohibit selling alcohol are at a low risk of becoming alcoholics. If you can’t buy it you can’t drink it and therefore you can’t become an alcoholic.

Family Alcoholism

A person who has one alcoholic parent is three times more likely to develop alcoholism than the person without an alcoholic parent. This is especially true in men; women seem to be less affected by the family link with alcoholism although women who have at least one alcoholic parent are still at a higher risk of developing alcoholism than normal.

Being a Man

Men are twice as likely to experience alcoholism over their lifetime then women. Read more about Alcoholism and Men’s Health.

Mental Illness

Having a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder increases the risk of developing alcoholism or other addiction due to the want to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Drinking could then cause a loss of inhibition that continues the spiral into alcoholism.

Personality Types

The American Psychiatric Association has identified certain personalities that can heighten someone’s risk for alcoholism. These personality traits are things such as having a low tolerance for frustration, demanding perfection, feeling unsure or not worthy, and having aggressive tendencies. Basically any personality type that doesn’t cope well and finds other ways/things to cover the pain they’re feeling.

If your loved one is in need of treatment for alchol addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.



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