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Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism

What Plays a Role in Substance Use Disorders

Millions of people worldwide struggle with alcoholism each year. This serious substance use disorder can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life, health, and relationships.

While much is still unknown about what causes alcohol use disorders, several factors are known to play a role, including cultural differences, familial beliefs, genetic conditions, and co-occurrences of mental illness. Keep reading as we explore these different categories and why they contribute to your risk.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences are one of the many factors that can play a role in developing an alcohol use disorder. In some social circles, heavy drinking is considered normal and even encouraged. This can make it difficult for people with an alcohol use disorder to get help, as they may feel like they’re just following the cultural norms.

Some attitudes towards drinking come from other social factors like education level, career path, and the attitudes of those you spend the most time around. For example, people struggling with alcoholism may be more likely to seek help if they have a higher education level or a job that requires them to be sober.

Familial Beliefs

Familial beliefs can also play a role in developing an alcohol use disorder. If someone comes from a family that believes alcoholism is normal or acceptable, they may be more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder themselves.

For example, if your parent or grandparent spent a lot of time drinking when you were a child, you have a higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder in adulthood. This is because you may have had exposure to alcohol at an early age or witnessed firsthand the effects of alcoholism on your family but found ways to see it as normal behavior.

Genetic Conditions

Several genetic conditions have been linked to an increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. These conditions can make someone more likely to consume substances in a manner deemed unhealthy or excessive.

For example, people with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to develop the disorder themselves. Additionally, people with certain genetic conditions, such as those affecting how the body metabolizes alcohol, are also at a greater risk.

Co-Occurrences of Mental Illness

People with mental illness are also at a higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. This is often because these individuals tend to self-medicate with alcohol to cope with their symptoms.

The most common co-occurring mental health disorders of alcoholism include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional to address your symptoms and reduce your risk.

Combination Factors

While having an alcoholic parent or working in a bar won’t necessarily cause you to develop a substance use disorder, it is important to realize that addiction is the sum of many things together. Most who experience difficulty with sobriety cite a combination of factors from the list above as their primary reasoning for their struggle.

Cincinnati Addiction Treatment Center

If you or someone you love is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available that can help you on your journey to recovery.

Remember, you are not alone, and our team at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center is here to assist you on your recovery journey. You can overcome this disorder and live a happy, healthy life with the right treatment and support.

For more information, please use our online contact form or call (513) 780-5201

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