With Alcohol Abuse, Causes Are Multilayered

By: Christopher Jay

How come some people become alcoholics and others do not? The people could have the exact same upbringing, drink the same amount, be the same nationality or even in the same family. There is not a definitive answer as to why alcoholics become alcoholics. There are almost as many theories as there are alcoholics. With alcohol abuse, it usually is a series of pressures combined that pushes a casual drinker over the edge into addiction.

Nature Or Nurture?

Alcoholism is defined by doctors all around the world as a disease, not a personality flaw. Some people do seem to be more genetically predisposed to alcohol abuse. Causes for this predisposition is thought to be certain genes that make a person crave alcohol more than usual. But if both of your parents were heavily into alcohol abuse, causes that are purely genetic do not explain the many non-alcoholic children of alcoholic parents.

There is also the thought that alcoholism happens because of the attitudes of peers. Alcohol is legal and a socially acceptable drug for relaxation and letting your hair down. Drinking is often seen as compulsory in some parts of society like college fraternities, builders and heavy laborers. First, drinking is seen as a part of fitting into the group and of having fun. Then, over time, drinking becomes a habit to the point that the body becomes addicted. But this does not explain why those who stop and live with tee toilers start up again so easily.

Part Of A Larger Problem

With alcohol abuse, causes for why someone turns to alcohol for comfort and support are due to many personal reasons combining with any predisposition to mental illness such as depression. Alcohol gives a false sense of security. Drinking has been reported among alcoholics to make them seem as if they are in charge of their lives and they panic at their seeming powerlessness when they sober up. If a person cannot figure out how to cope with the peaks and valleys of life and cannot take responsibility for their lives, he or she may turn to alcohol abuse. Causes of why they choose alcohol among all of the other legal addictions available (food, sex, money, shopping) are unknown.

Once a person is addicted to alcohol, they will always be so for the rest of their lives, even if they successfully stop drinking. Just one drink, even after years of sobriety, will often set them off in a drinking binge again.

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