There is no one single cause of alcohol addiction. Instead, there are multiple causes that put a person at risk. Genetic, psychological and environmental factors all play a role in the onset of alcohol addiction, which is why it’s not as simple as being passed down from one generation to the next.
Regardless of who you are – an at-risk person or not – alcohol dependency can happen to anyone. Excessive alcohol use causes changes in the brain that emphasize the pleasurable feelings of alcohol. These feelings create an increased desire to drink, gradually starting the cycle of abuse. This is why there are different types of alcoholics. Some are in the earlier stages of the disease; some are in the later stages. Some drink every day after work; others let drinking take over their life.
Causes Of Alcohol Addiction
Let’s take a closer look at what some of the known causes of alcohol addiction are.
Biological factors include each person’s unique physiology and genetics. People differ in the types of activities they enjoy. Some people enjoy drinking right off the bat. As these people start drinking more frequently, changes in the brain are made that make it more difficult to pass up alcohol.
Impulsivity also plays a role in addiction. Some people are naturally impulsive and have a harder time controlling their behaviors. Even normal brain functioning can make people vulnerable to alcohol addiction because the brain motivates us to repeat behaviors that feel good. When coupled with impulsivity, the ability to resist certain substances and activities is difficult.
People with high stress are more susceptible to addiction, especially when they have poor coping skills. It’s also known that some mental illnesses go hand-in-hand with substance abuse. People with mental illness will use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. Of course, this only makes the situation worse, but it does happen.
Just because a person is aware of their alcohol problem doesn’t mean they know how to stop. Luckily, by understanding the psychology of addiction, naturopathic alcohol treatment centers help patients deal with unpleasant emotions or circumstances so that they can work on the root of the problem.
How a person thinks about and interacts with alcohol is largely dependent on their environment. How accessible is alcohol in the home? How many bars or liquor stores are in the area? Acceptance of dangerous drinking by the media, celebrities and society in general also influence what people think about alcohol. If they believe that it’s okay or even funny to get highly intoxicated night after night, they won’t take alcohol addiction seriously.
Your Journey To Sobriety Starts Today!
As you can see, alcohol addiction has many causes. When these factors come together, it’s like the perfect storm. It fuels the behavior and changes the chemistry of the brain, feeding an addiction that can go on for years without proper intervention.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an alcohol problem, The River Source is here for you. We provide individualized treatment programs that include safe detox, counseling and continuing care.
Call Us Today To Start On The Journey To Sobriety!