The risk factors for alcohol addiction are often interconnected: there may be a genetic predisposition to alcohol. Home environment as a child, past and current social environments, psychological-emotional adjustment, and social adjustment. There may also be some racial component, such as with Native-Americans, which contributes to the predisposition of alcohol addiction. Specific risk factors may be a history of alcoholism in the family, the frequent socialization with heavy drinkers, and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder. Self-medication is often a conscious or unconscious motivation for the use of alcohol that becomes addictive.
Pathways to alcohol addiction
While the abuse of alcohol is not 100 per cent predictive of alcohol addiction, it is certainly a high risk factor. Ordinarily, for some people, the addiction to alcohol is progressive over a period of time, for other people, however, it may be rather quick, such as if it is related to some life-changing event, such as retirement, divorce, a death of someone close, or other form of loss, such as the loss of a business.
For “regular drinkers,” the regular consumption of alcohol tends to build up tolerances, meaning that you have to drink more to get the same desired effect. Binge drinking increases the likelihood of alcohol addiction. Daily drinking also increases the likelihood of addiction.
Alcoholics vs. alcohol abusers
There is a distinction between alcoholics and alcohol abusers. Alcoholics ordinarily do not have a significant ability to set limits on their drinking, while, to some degree, alcohol abusers can set such limits.
Common symptoms and signs of alcohol addiction
1) The repeated neglecting of responsibilities: This may occur at home, a work, or at school due to drinking. While adverse effects may occur while the alcohol is still I the system, the problems may also arise from hangovers. This may become apparent through poor work performance, poor academic performance, and/or the neglect of partner and/or children.
2) The use of alcohol in circumstances of potential physical danger. The most common example of this is driving under the influence of alcohol. However, alcohol severely adversely affects the use of all forms of machinery at home or work. Another form of this danger is drinking alcohol in combination with prescription medications.
3) The incidence of legal problems association with drinking, such as drunk and disorderly conduct on the street, fighting while drinking or drunk, domestic abuse, or driving under the influence. Of alcohol.
4) Continuing to drink despite the various kinds of problems that it is causing at work, in personal relationships, or with neighbors.
5) Using alcohol as a way to relax, stress-reduction, or self-medicate. One example of this is to have the urge to have a drink during or after family conflicts, or as a way to de-stress after work.
If any of these behaviors sound familiar to you, you probably have some degree of a drinking-alcohol addiction problem.
Psychological counseling can assist in helping you to ameliorate the psychological-social circumstances leading to drinking and help you to create coping mechanisms to the termination of the need or will to drink.