What Causes Alcoholism?

The latest research suggests that there are a number of factors—genetic and environmental—that put a person at risk for developing alcoholism.

  • Variations in the genes that affect how alcohol is metabolized within the body can affect a person’s risk of alcoholism. A good indicator of this is a family history of alcoholism.
  • People who are genetically disposed to alcoholism may also start drinking at an earlier age than people who are not.
  • Individuals who have suffered severe childhood trauma have a significantly higher risk of alcoholism.
  • Individuals who lack positive family or peer support also have an increased risk of alcoholism.
  • Certain co-occurring mental disorders, such as PTSD, depression, and bipolar disorder, can make a person more vulnerable to developing alcoholism as a coping mechanism. This is called co-morbidity.

It is important to note that not everyone who is influenced by the above factors will definitely develop alcoholism. Because there are so many factors, each alcoholic develops the disease differently.

Detoxification is essential for many people to avoid seizure. While we do not provide detoxification services, we refer to local detox programs.


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