Alcoholism Center

Alcohol Abuse Causes and Risk Factors

What causes alcohol abuse?
Doctors and researchers are still not sure exactly what causes alcohol abuse. They suggest that alcohol, like other drugs, is consumed for its rewarding effects. The progression from use to abuse may have many causes at different biological and/or behavioral levels such as an acquired or inherited deficiency of anxiolytic synaptic receptors in the brain. Research into the causes of alcohol abuse is, however, is ongoing.

Risk factors

Individual reactions to alcohol vary, and are influenced by many risk factors, including but not limited to:

  • age
  • family history of alcohol problems
  • environment and culture
  • gender
  • genetics
  • physical condition
  • quantity of food consumed before drinking
  • race or ethnicity
  • rate and speed in which the alcohol was consumed
  • use of drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, street)

Individuals who abuse alcohol usually continue to drink in spite of the knowledge that their drinking causes them recurrent and significant social, interpersonal, or legal problems. To better understand the symptoms of alcohol abuse, continue reading here. The next section on symptoms outlines the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse for those who think that they may be experiencing the condition or others observing the person who abuses alcohol.  More here on the mental, emotional and physical patterns, including alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

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