Causes of Alcohol Abuse
There are many contributing factors that can cause alcohol abuse. These causes may include the person’s surrounding or environment, social pressure, problems at work or at home, cultural norms or traditions as well as genetics.
A common saying in the addiction treatment field is that alcoholism is a family disease. This usually means that not only does it possibly “run in the family” due to genetic factors, but also that when one member of the family abuses alcohol it can cause problems for everyone. However, research scientists continue to study genes and have only found that neither are they solely responsible for developing alcoholism, but that it doesn’t mean that someone with a genetic predisposition will become an alcoholic. Behaviors, attitudes and other activities can also be passed down through families by repeating what was observed.
Ongoing research into the genetic causes of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are usually funded by the one or more arms of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recent or ongoing research includes the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) Study, which is a large-scale family study designed to identify genes that affect the risk for alcohol dependence and alcohol-related behaviors.
Environmental factors that can cause alcohol abuse vary widely in themselves and can be different for each individual. We’ve all heard of group agreement such known as peer pressure, but it really goes much further beyond that. Other environmental triggers may be social anxieties of fears of some type, communication problems or difficulty expressing feelings. There can also be traumatic events such as loss of a job, accidents and injuries or the loss of a loved one.
Alcohol abuse becomes a coping mechanism of temporarily dealing with unwanted feelings or emotions in many cases. The individual turns to alcohol for comfort of some type or as a way to dull pain or anguish.
Regardless of what the cause is, there are effective treatments available for alcohol abuse. It may be just a matter of finding the right program for a person’s unique situation, which is something that we can help with.