Is Alcoholism Genetic?
No single factor causes alcoholism; instead, it occurs as the result of the interaction of a range of factors that combine with an individual’s genetics. There are over 50 genes related to alcoholism, but it’s still not possible to predict who will develop an alcohol use disorder.
Numerous psychological, social, and environmental risk factors also affect your chances. The more elements that have been present in your life, the more likely you are to develop a problematic relationship with alcohol. The most common causes include:
If you start drinking, smoking or using drugs while your brain is growing, you’re much more likely to display addictive behavior throughout your life. Using substances from a young age is the most common risk factor in developing alcoholism or any addiction.
Stressful jobs, family problems or situational changes can be catalysts for the development of an alcohol use disorder. Not everyone who experiences these types of events goes on to become an alcoholic. Stress, in combination with poor coping skills and genetics, can be a leading cause of the condition.
Bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression significantly increase your likelihood of becoming an alcoholic, especially if they’re left untreated. Alcohol can be a temporary solution for the negative feelings brought up by these conditions, but in the long term, they only make it worse.
The term peer pressure can be misleading. Often, it’s not actual pressure from friends or acquaintances to drink. Instead, it’s spending time around people who drink heavily and gradually following suit. Often you look up to the person or people whose behavior you start to take on or consider them to be cool. In your desire to be accepted socially and feel cool yourself, you may end up misguidedly mimicking unhealthy conduct under the guise of living up to an image.
Signs of Alcoholism
- Poor personal hygiene
- A blotchy red face or a red nose
- Weight loss due to alcohol being favored over eating
- The persistent smell of alcohol on the breath
- Brittle hair and dry skin from dehydration
- Shaking or sweating at inappropriate times
- An excessive amount of alcohol bottles or cans in the trash
Symptoms of Alcoholism
- Drinking more or for longer than you intended
- Needing higher amounts of alcohol to get drunk
- Craving alcohol constantly and spending the majority of your time drunk
- Continuing to drink in spite of negative consequences
- Losing interest in healthy pursuits
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Having trouble in personal relationships, at work or at school
- Trying to cut back or stop and not being able to
When drinking isn’t fun anymore and is causing problems in your life, it’s time to seek help. If you or a loved one need an alcoholism treatment program in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey call Greenbranch Recovery at 833-272-6246 to speak to an expert about your situation.