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What Causes People To Become Alcoholics?

Asking what causes people to become alcoholics is a bit like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first. Because while there has been a great deal of research done on alcoholism and its causes, there still is not one clear-cut answer that defines what causes one person to drink alcoholically while another does not. Research has demonstrated an interplay between genetics, life circumstances, social environment, and more. Still, there is not a “2+2” equation that results in alcoholism. 

At Laguna View Detox, we understand how frustrating it can be to understand the intricacies of alcoholism and addiction. However, we also know how to treat both, and we are here to support you and your loved one on their path to recovery. 

What Is Alcoholism?

The definition of alcoholism, sometimes referred to as alcohol addiction, is tied to how alcohol is used. While Alcoholics Anonymous does not formally define alcoholism, it does describe it as a physical compulsion paired with a mental obsession.  Meanwhile, the medical and research community has added more terminology while trying to define alcoholism. You may hear it referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, or more. No matter what term is used, the defining factor is an inability to stop or control alcohol use regardless of the consequences. Over time, continued alcohol use changes the brain’s pathways, making it harder to refrain from drinking alcohol over the long term without seeking help. 

Symptoms of Alcoholism

The symptoms of alcoholism are much like the signs of addiction to any other drug. If you believe that you or your loved one may be drinking and abusing alcohol, you’ll want to start asking some hard questions. Symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Spending the majority of time getting, drinking, or recovering from drinking alcohol
  • Having to drink more alcohol to achieve the same effect
  • Experiencing cravings or withdrawals when not drinking alcohol
  • Sacrificing hobbies, relationships, or obligations to continue drinking
  • Being unable to stop drinking
  • Drinking more often or a larger quantity of alcohol than intended

While what causes some people to become alcoholics while others do not remains unclear. However, when alcohol becomes the driving factor in your decision-making, no matter the consequences, then you are likely drinking alcoholically.  


What Causes People To Become Alcoholics?

Understanding what causes people to become alcoholics requires looking at the bigger picture. While alcoholism was initially thought to be a moral failing, researchers have found otherwise. Today we understand that the propensity to become an alcoholic or develop an alcohol user disorder depends on many factors. Researchers have found that genetics and a family history of drinking problems can contribute to an individual’s likelihood of becoming an alcoholic. Growing up watching the adults in your life abuse alcohol can lead to your believing that it is the way to cope with life’s stressors. The earlier that you begin drinking also increases your likelihood of becoming an alcoholic. 

Researchers have found that those who start drinking before age fifteen are five times more likely to develop a problem with alcohol. A history of trauma, particularly childhood trauma, also increases the risk of becoming an alcoholic. Other mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, also increase the risk of abusing alcohol. While all of these factors can contribute to alcoholism, it’s important to note that you can find yourself facing alcoholism even when you can’t check off all of the boxes on this list. Sometimes it’s about evaluating your relationship with alcohol and how it’s impacting your life. 

How To Get Your Loved One Help With Alcoholism

At Laguna View Detox, we understand alcoholism, and we know how to treat it. We offer round-the-clock care in a luxurious, inpatient treatment setting in one of the most beautiful areas in California. We’ll ensure your loved one makes it through detox safely and then help them build a new sober life. 

Our committed and compassionate staff are some of the best in the industry, and they’ll work with your loved one to create an individualized, holistic treatment plan. We understand the interplay between mental health and addiction and are here to help. We also understand the importance of helping you build a support network for when you leave treatment.  We will care for you while you safely detox and then guide you through inpatient treatment and aftercare. So contact us today and let us help you break free from addiction!  


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