Alcoholism: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms

The percentage of alcohol-attributable deaths among men amounts to 7.7 % of all global deaths compared to 2.6 % of all deaths among women. Total alcohol per capita consumption in 2016 among male and female drinkers worldwide was on average 19.4 litres of pure alcohol for males and 7.0 litres for females. There are a number of variables to consider when determining what leads a person to develop an alcohol abuse problem. Cultures where drinking is considered shameful may cause alcoholics to hide their condition and avoid treatment due to the stigma of being labeled an alcoholic. The risk for females in this group is higher than that of males. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines moderate drinking as two drinks a day or less for men, and one drink a day or less for women, with a drink defined as .5 oz of alcohol.

It occurs when you drink so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted causes of alcoholism to alcohol. When this happens, alcohol becomes the most important thing in your life.

What’s the outlook for a person with alcohol use disorder?

That’s because many people use alcohol as a way to self-medicate and relieve their emotional distress. It’s also called alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse. The earlier a person begins experimenting with alcohol, the higher the risk of an alcohol use disorder.

  • Seven Hills Hospital is a leading treatment center for adults, children and seniors struggling with depression, addiction and mental health disorders.
  • After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing.
  • Treatment for addiction takes many forms and depends on the needs of the individual.
  • Career paths that are more likely to face high levels of stress due to long hours and strenuous tasks include doctors, nurses, emergency rescue workers, construction workers and military.

But while some diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, can be traced to a single genetic mutation, there’s no single gene for alcoholism. Rather, a number of genetic variations combine with environmental factors to increase a person’s risk for becoming addicted. You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance. Using one or more of several types of psychological therapies, psychologists can help people address psychological issues involved in their problem drinking.

Trauma History

So even if you do not totally give up alcohol, you may be able to drink less. You get withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off. Excessive use of alcoholic beverages causes a reduction in the number of erythrocytes. Since red blood cells are used to transport oxygen around the body, the low level of oxygen due to low numbers of the cells leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Alcoholics who take tobacco have an increased risk of cancers (Bierut et al. 237).

causes of alcoholism

Topiramate, a derivative of the naturally occurring sugar monosaccharide D-fructose, has been found effective in helping alcoholics quit or cut back on the amount they drink. Evidence suggests that topiramate antagonizes excitatory glutamate receptors, inhibits dopamine release, and enhances inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid function.

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